I have only managed to read one book this week! Mind you, that is not very surprising as the book was very long indeed.
Echo City by Tim Lebbon is a kind of science fiction/fantasy/horror mix. Here is the blurb:
Surrounded by a vast, poisonous desert, Echo City is built upon the graveyard of its own past. Most inhabitants believe that their city and its subterranean Echoes are the whole of the world, but there are a few dissenters. Peer Nadawa is a political exile, forced to live with criminals in a ruinous slum. Gorham, once her lover, leads a ragtag band of rebels against the ruling theocracy. Nophel, a servant of that theocracy, dreams of revenge from his perch atop the city’s tallest spire. And beneath the city, a woman called Nadielle conducts macabre experiments in genetic manipulation using a science indistinguishable from sorcery. They believe there is something more beyond the endless desert . . . but what?
It is only when a stranger arrives from out of the wastes that things begin to change. Frail and amnesiac, he holds the key to a new beginning for Echo City—or perhaps to its end, for he is not the only new arrival. From the depths beneath Echo City, something ancient and deadly is rising. Now Peer, Gorham, Nophel, and Nadielle msut test the limits of love and loyalty, courage and compassion, as they struggle to save a city collapsing under the weight of its own history.
I awarded the book three stars, although that might have been rather stingy, and wrote this review:
I would have given this four stars, but the book was far too long! The author paints a picture of an amazing world: a city, built upon level after level of its own past history, full with grotesque creatures and human beings with many flaws. The city exists in a poisonous desert, which means that no one can leave and no one can enter. Except that, one day, someone does enter.
So, the setting of the story is intriguing and I felt hooked by the first few chapters. Then, the journeys around the city made by the main characters started to become more and more tedious and overdone. This book feels like two or three squeezed together into one volume, or one shorter novel which has accrued too much description and should have been edited down. Also, telling the tale from multiple points of view became quite difficult to follow.
But, you know what? Despite these issues I did read the whole book and I did enjoy it. I am not sure who I would recommend it to. Perhaps someone like me with lots of spare time and the ability to keep going to find out what happens in the end.
As a former student of Archaeology, I loved the idea of a city built upon older layers. This reminded me of ancient places such as Troy. In the case of Echo City, these layers, “Echoes”, consist of tall buildings, ruins, parks, fields, trees and so on, covering mile upon mile of an underground world and going deep underneath. So interesting!
When I chose this present pile of library books, I picked out several really long ones. My next read is American Gods by Neil Gaiman, so I hope that I can get really hooked into that. I will tell you my thoughts about it next week.
Happy Reading to you all!