REVIEW : Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson

 

The press release that came with Al Robertson's debut novel "Crashing Heaven" is an impressive statement that clearly showcases how much the publisher is behind this book. It is always impressive when William Gibson, Alastair Reynold, Richard K. Morgan and even Neal Stephenson are mentioned in a single breath and the six figure sum always catches attention. Admittedly you'll be disappointed if you expect it to be an amalgam of their works in any shape or form because "Crashing Heaven" simply isn't what's promised on paper. It would be simply an impossible feat to achieve it but Al Robertson touched all of these authors in a small way. There's plenty of imaginative spirit in Robertson's writing and subtle nods to his contemporaries for "Crashing Heaven" to pull it off handsomely and that's an achievement in itself.

"Crashing Heaven" is a bleak, hard science fiction tale set in a future where the Earth is left behind and the humanity has moved to a Station, an asteroid made habitable by sentient consciousness of the Pantheon. Even in space the conflict is still raging and as it eventually folds, Jack Forster and his sidekick Hugo Fist return to the station after a war against a group of rogue AIs called The Totality, only to be accused of treachery. In the middle of the conflict Jack surrendered to the enemy and everyone on Station knows it. Jack was an AI killer, primed for violence and combat. It was a traumatizing experience but despite what really happened, he's been the lucky one here. He has survived while his other friends have died. Determined to discover what actually happened, Jack is set to enter another war, one which threatens to destroy both him and Hugo. However, stakes depending upon the outcome of his struggle are much higher than he ever imagined. Even humanity's future is uncertain. For Jack the time is running out as soon Hugo is set to take over his body so there's not much hope left. Hugo Fist is a strange creation, a virtual entity designed to help Jack fight a war and is a great character in itself. Their internal dialog is such a treat. Similarly, Station as a living, vibrant space is depicted superbly. Robertson manages to capture claustrophobic and chaotic existence of one such place. Existence made bearable only by the application on augmented reality called the Weave - a popular mean of escape from reality.

Still, the synopsis itself doesn't do justice to "Crashing Heaven" because on the surface of it, it presents Al Robertson's debut novel as a set of instantly recognizable SF tropes which includes everything from messy post-apocalyptic aftermath, humanity's migration to space, rogue AIs and everyone's existence balancing on an knife's edge. "Crashing Heaven" is better than the sum of its parts. It's an all-encompassing landscape upon which the story unfolds and at times I was even slightly overcome by too much of everything. And yet, as I've mentioned before, the whole thing somehow works together. "Crashing Heaven" is a completely insane book and for what is worth I believe that publishers were right to believe so firmly in its success. Jam packed with innovative ideas and fresh approaches to storytelling, "Crashing Heaven" could just be the one book that everyone will talk about in 2015. I certainly hope so.


Review copy provided by Gollancz.
Order "Crashing Heaven" by Al Robertson here:

REVIEW : Marked by Sue Tingey

 

This is the second time that I'm reviewing "Marked" since my original review got lost due to one unfortunate act of general clumsiness. To be honest I can't say that I find it to be a problem. It is such a nice little read that I profoundly enjoyed so I'll happily go down that route once again. The most obvious place to start is the proof itself. The publicists are always up to no good when it comes to bringing attention to their latest favourite but "Marked" simply pushed the boundaries to a completely new level. Just look at that beauty:

The dragon is on my key chain, of course. "Marked" definitely got noticed but we all know that looks are nothing when it comes to books. Luckily, Sue Tingey's debut is more than smoke and mirrors. This, occasionally bonkers, and exciting descent into hell tells the story of Lucinda De Salle (known to everyone as Lucky), an ordinary, if unloved, girl who has a strange power - she can see ghosts. This instantly marks her as something of an outcast so all through her life her best friend is Kayla, a ghost girl who has been her constant companion even since she can remember. It all changes when she's been called to her former school by the new headmistress. Three pupils have carelessly played with an Ouija board in the attic and summoned something from the great beyond. Lucky is instantly suspicious. The last time she's been to this same attic she has ended up expelled but alarm bells have really started ringing when Kayla bluntly refused to come. This had the potential to end up bad. And it was. She finds a dark man expecting her - an assassin by the man of Henri de Dent (French for tooth) who is after Kayla. The Underlands want her back. So begins Lucky's quest filled with peril, danger and lots of fun.

After this rather bleak opening, "Marked" tones down a bit and is rather handsomely easy to read and that is why I found it so pleasurable. It's simply not a standard urban fantasy fare, filled with broken hearts, downcast glances and gloomy characters despite notionally having all the familiar elements. If anything "Marked" more closely resembles John Connolly's "Samuel Johnson" series that a book with a black feather on its cover. Sue Tingey's debut is such great fun and a delight to read so I certainly hope there's much more to come in the future. I know I would love to read more and luckily this is marked as a first instalment in The Soulseer Chronicles. Let's hope that editor doesn't lose this review as well:)


Review copy provided by Jo Fletcher Books.
Order "Marked" by Sue Tingey here:

The story behind All That Outer Space Allows by Ian Sales

With the publication of All That Outer Space Allows at the end of April, the Apollo Quartet is now finally complete. And this last instalment is a little bit different to the preceding three volumes - Adrift on the Sea of Rains, The Eye With Which The Universe Beholds Itself and Then Will The Great Ocean Wash Deep Above. For a start, All That Outer Space Allows is a novel, not a novella. Albeit only a short novel, just shy of 45,000 words.

When I decided Adrift on the Sea of Rains would be the first of a quartet about the Apollo space programme, I knew the final book’s title would be All That Outer Space Allows and it would be about a woman who wrote science fiction and was married to an Apollo astronaut. I remember explaining as much to a friend at the 2012 Eastercon, the day after launching Adrift on the Sea of Rains. Of course, before I could actually start writing that fourth book, I needed to write and publish books two and three. And who knew what might change in the interim…

As it happens, not that much. All That Outer Space Allows remains broadly true to my initial vision of three years ago. But it’s certainly a much more complicated, and longer, book than I’d envisaged. It wasn’t enough, I’d decided, that Ginny Eckhardt, the wife of (invented) Apollo astronaut Walden J Eckhardt, wrote science fiction. No, I also had to include one of her stories in the novel - and I had to have that story both be a reflection of her life up to the point she wrote it, and then reflect back on her life afterwards. And all this while documenting her life as a housewife. In Houston. During the 1960s. With an astronaut husband.

None of the books of the Apollo Quartet have been easy to write, and the amount of research I’ve had to do has often horrified even myself. For All That Outer Space Allows, however, it was much, much harder. The Apollo space programme is well-documented, and there are thousand of books on the topic, some even written by the astronauts themselves. There is also a lot of technical documentation on missions to Mars - although perhaps not as I described it in The Eye With Which The Universe Beholds Itself. And even the Mercury 13 have been the subject of several books, including a pair of autobiographies by Jerry Cobb, the lead figure in Then Will The Great Ocean Wash Deep Above. But there are remarkably few books about the Apollo programme from the point of view of the astronauts’ wives. In fact, I found only two: The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel, published only in 2013; and The Moon is Not Enough, by Mary Irwin, wife of Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin. I’d made the research a feature of the first three books of the Apollo Quartet, but for this final novel of the series it looked like I’d have to do a lot of reading around the subject…

Now that the quartet is finished, I’m looking forward to putting away the two piles of research books on the desk beside my laptop - not to mention the one on the floor next to the desk. While All That Outer Space Allows has been the hardest book of the four to write because so much research was required, Ginny Eckhardt was the protagonist I most enjoyed putting myself into the head of. If that makes sense. Peterson from book one and Elliott from book two were both defined by their actions, and Jerry Cobb in book three was a real person whose character was based on her own words in her autobiographies… but Ginny was entirely invented. Yet she had to remain true to her time, her nationality and her gender. I hope I’ve managed to pull it off. It was certainly a challenge trying to do so. And that, I suppose, is what made her so much fun to write. And writing a 1960s science fiction story as Ginny was a lot of fun too.

I’ve just had the first book of a space opera trilogy published by Tickety Boo Press, A Prospect of War, so I’ll be thinking about widescreen commercial space opera for at least the next eighteen months - blowing shit up and turning tropes on their head, that sort of thing. On the other hand, the Apollo Quartet sits in a space in the genre that I certainly think is worth exploring further. Someone described the quartet as “art house hard science fiction”, and I think it’s a fair label. The idea of bringing literary fiction, or art house cinema, sensibilities to hard sf provides ample opportunity to do interesting things. I’ve proven to my own satisfaction - and, I hope, other people’s - it’s a space in which I can produce good work. So it would be a shame to abandon it. But I’m looking forward to a short holiday writing the sort of science fiction I can just make up as I go along...


Ian Sales
Order All That Outer Space Allows by Ian Sales here:
Whippleshield Books

The story behind The Killing of Bobbi Lomax by Cal Moriarty

The Killing of Bobbi Lomax didn’t start where you might think, in an American desert, but in story-time, served up day or night by my Dad starting from when I was aged about 3. At the time, I was too young to question why all my Dad’s off-the-cuff kids'  stories seemed to involve an angry raven as black as night or some other dark, devious swooping animal. These dark tales were so exciting to my burgeoning desire for disturbing stories I just wanted more and more. Forty years later when he was diagnosed with depression I would figure out that my Dad’s scary dark stories were perhaps his creative outlet to attempt to off-set his hitherto undiagnosed depression. So, by a very young age I was hooked on the dark and edgy content and, after a brief flirtation with Enid Blyton and traditional adventure stories, I returned aged 10 or 11 to the macabre. I became an almost a permanent fixture in the newspaper shop at the end of our street which, at the time, was wall to wall magazines from all corners of the earth. There I could buy True Crime, True Detective and every other murder mag import from the States. By this time I had a sideline washing cars and had carved up our local Fulham territory with another local kid. We never strayed onto each other’s patch or it would have been squeeqees at dawn. And now, because of my growing empire, I could basically afford anything a child might want to buy and, most likely because my addiction to pictures of freshly dead bodies and gory stories greatly increased his profit margins, the newsagent never questioned my rather adult choice of reading material. 
 
My inability to look away from the horrific images and descriptions of murder forced me to question why people committed these crimes, and why I was so obsessed with such horror. Why did this person die? And why did the killer do it? How is not as interesting as why. Not to me. It’s the psychological make-up of the perpetrator that is the key to everything. And I believe that this is also the key to creative writing for every character a writer presents their readers/audience. We do our characters a disservice when we present them as mono-dimensional. Relying on ‘twists’ when writing is very limiting for reader and writer alike, burrowing deep down into your characters psyche whether they be your protagonist or antagonist is where it’s at for me as a writer. I want to know, both as reader and writer, if I follow a character for hundreds of pages I’m going to learn more about them as a person than I knew on page one. Otherwise, why bother reading on. And, if there is going to be ‘twists’ they better come from characterisation and not be the deus ex machina of plot randomly swooping down to save the day. 
I use the ‘why’ to create everything else a novel requires: characterisation, plot, structure, setting. All of it. To me everything should be developed organically from character, the why. When I wrote The Killing of Bobbi Lomax and explored the characters of Clark Houseman and Marty Sinclair it was important for me to understand and characterise why that recurring black raven of my Dad’s stories was so very very destructive. It's that search for why a character behaves as they do that keeps me writing every day.   
 
The Killing of Bobbi Lomax is out now (Faber and Faber, £12.99)

Cal Moriarty
Order The Killing of Bobbi Lomax by Cal Moriarty here:

REVIEW : Grey Souls by Philippe Claudel

 

May sees the publication of the new English edition of Philippe Claudel's seminal novel "Grey Souls". Originally published in 2005 as "Les Âmes Grises", upon its publication "Grey Souls" was both a critical and commercial success and it even won the prestigious Prix Renaudot. In hindsight it was a crucial novel for Claudel as it set the stage for many works that followed in its wake, most notably "The Investigation" and "Monsieur Linh and His Child". Similarly to these "Grey Souls" deals a metaphysical aspects of an investigation and the consequences of living an ordinary life during the horrific war.

"Grey Souls" revolves around a murder of a young girl which was committed in 1917 but only solved two decades later. The story is set in a small French town situated near the Western Front, in fact the battles are fought so close that the sounds and smells of death are palpable in the streets. One winter morning, a ten year old daughter of an innkeeper is found strangled in a canal. In the chaos of war, blood boils fast and soon enough, two men, deserters, are accused and quickly executed. Witnessing this impromptu sentencing was our narrator who, after being deeply shocked by the injustice and the brutality of the event, has never been able to escape its influence. Now, 20 years in the future, our narrator is a policemen who is slowly trying to piece together the story of what truly happened to that poor girl.



"Grey Souls" has deservedly been a tremendous success and is firmly one of the Claudel's most enduring works. The contrast between the conflict in which countless died and the killing of a single young and innocent girl is a frightening thing to experience and certainly leaves a lasting impression. Claudel always knew how to stir up intense, vivid emotions in his readers (just remember "Perfums") and "Grey Souls" is no exception. It's just beautiful in that subtle, thought provoking fashion.

In short, "Grey Souls" is a welcome addition to the bibliography of one of the finest contemporary European authors at the moment and finds him at the height of his power.


Review copy provided by Maclehose Press.
Order Grey Souls by Philippe Claudel here:

REVIEW : Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

 

To be honest, as I've already mentioned before, I was initially slightly worried about how Charlaine Harris will move on from Sookie Stackhouse because the needless controversy that followed the ending would be enough for everyone to simply give up but it was foolish really. A writer must write and she just skipped over troubles and proceeded on to the next stage of her career with aplomb.  When it arrived "Midnight Crossroad" was such a pleasant surprise. It was great. The thing that charmed me most was that it was amalgam of her various books but done in a way that was entirely fresh. I love when authors manage to pull off stuff like that - to simply reinvent their back catalogue and bring it all back together. "Midnight Crossroad" was always imagined as a series and now its next instalment is finally here. To dispel any illusions, it is a treat.

Trouble is never far away from psychic Manfred Bernardo. On a working weekend in Dallas he encounters Olivia Charity, a mysterious resident of Midnight, Texas. Even for such a small town where gossip is rife and secrets are impossible to keep, Olivia is something of a question mark. She's beautiful and apparently dangerous. She lives with a vampire Lemuel but that's as far as it goes. On that fateful day in Dallas Manfred see Olivia with a couple only to later learn that they're dead. Things get even worse when one of Manfred's regular clients dies during a reading. Manfred runs back to Midnight hounded by the press and being suspected of having something to do with death in question. Residents quickly turn to Olivia for help. Is that really clever?



Similarly to "Midnight Crossroad", the best thing about "Day Shift" is in its playfulness. Harris plays with mystery at the heart of the story with such tremendous ease and even sets up couple of additional threads that I suspect will play part in future instalments. Also there's a tiny but sweet treat for all the careful readers of Sookie Stackhouse because some familiar faces make quick cameo appearances. Still, if you haven't read the opening novel you should know that apart from that "Midnight, Texas" has wildly different feel to it but please give it a try anyway. It's fresh, innovative and damn good fun to read!


Review copy provided by Gollancz.
Order Day Shift by Charlaine Harris here:

REVIEW : The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay by Andrea Gillies

 

Regret and the quest for a redemption are at the heart of Andrea Gillies' poignant new novel "The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay". When she was growing up Nina was torn apart between two brother. She was in love with Luca but somehow ended up marrying Paolo because Luca was already married. Things just happened like than and now, as her life is on the cusp of a major change and she and Paolo are finally getting separated after 25 years of marriage, she's ruminating about the one who got away. Being in an introspective mood she decides on a whim to travel to a Greek island where she spent her honeymoon all those years ago. A moment of clarity comes when she ends up in hospital after an accident. She's been hit by a bus. Story of her past pours out of her to Christos, a doctor and a good listener, and as she follows the events of her past she realised how many small details worked together to influence her decisions and led her to her mistakes. Eventually she ultimately comes to understand the relationship between her and the brothers and what is the main reason she married Paolo in the first place even though they were always better as friends than as lovers. It is clear now what went wrong with her marriage.

It's an interesting take on the familiar theme and if there's one thing that Andrea Gillies completely succeeds at, it is making Nina feel like an ordinary human being. With an omnipresent view, we as readers see clearly why her life derailed as it did but at the time of her stay in hospital Nina is none the wiser. Even long after the moment of her enlightenment comes she struggles to understand. The realisation comes slowly and as always hindsight is such a wonderful thing even though it changes nothing. She's initially baffled by the realisation that everything could've been so much simpler but then what does it all mean now? Is it too late to put things right?

"The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay" is a very different book from her superb debut "The White Lie" but one thing is instantly familiar to those who've read it - Gillies' talent for writing fascinating and deep characters who, even at moment when nothing much is happening (for most of its time "The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay" is unfolding in hospital bed) capture the reader's imagination. Her clarity when dealing with difficult themes such loss and regret means that her writing always leaves a strong and long-lasting impression even in those moments when the story itself is not grasping your full attention. "The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay" is a beautifully written thought provoking book that deserves to be enjoyed slowly - much like the holiday on of those small islands in Greece. An excellent second novel.


Review copy provided by Other Press.
Order The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay by Andrea Gillies here:

REVIEW : Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

 

I've been incredibly excited about "Seveneves" even before I knew what it is called or what it is about. During one of the "REAMDE" promotional interviews Neal Stephenson mentioned that the book he is writing at the moment will be a hard science fiction one and that was enough for me. In my mind I was already reading something akin to "Anathem", one of my all-time favourite books and the book I would probably choose as the one I would take to a desert island with me. "Anathem" has everything. It's is full of science, philosophy, innovative concepts. It is also incredibly dense - up to a point where it has its own invented language - and benefits from multiple re-reads. Compared to it, its successor "REAMDE" was an easy walk in a part - a whole enjoyable action movie which you could enjoy without using too much of your brain. So, yes, perhaps I expecting too much from "Seveneves" but still, even when fully aware of my completely unreasonable wishes it was slightly disappointing when I stated reading it. I really shouldn't have worried but before I go too far, here's what "Seveneves" is about.

It is a novel that opens with one of the most spectacular and bombastic statements in contemporary science fiction:

"The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason."

With the moon suddenly gone, everyone's instant reaction is bafflement closely followed by panic. As the days pass by it soon become evident that nothing particularly bad is going to happen to the Earth, that is until the scientist which resembles Neil deGrasse Tyson in everything but a name steps up to the plate and quickly reveals that due to a phenomenon dubbed as "Hard Rain" in mere two years the whole of the Earth's surface will be rendered inhabitable. What follows is a frantic race to put as much material and people as possible into orbit. It's a stunning story about the possibility of human achievement. All the industrial potential and production are streamlined into this one final effort. The future habitat is quickly built around the ISS by using multiple modules, most of which are made using made do and mend attitude. But everything's not rosy. There's plenty of human sacrifice and on the future astronauts' selection process is heavily compromised. There's a sham lottery and politicians rear their ugly heads, all the time threatening to derail the whole effort. As the Hard Rain comes right on time and Earth goes quiet, the drama moves to space. The ISS is now an amalgam of many elements and in its micro-climate many factions are already appearing - a veritable class system - but still everything slowly ticks on. This fragile social equilibrium is suddenly completely torn apart by the arrival of one person I hoped we left behind on Earth. In an all too predictable fashion and in a move completely untypical for Stephenson this person does appear out of nowhere and goes on to skew the whole story in a direction about which I didn't care too much about. But there's still plenty of incredibly gripping stuff. There's daring do in guise of another character resembling Elon Musk and the mad dash around the orbit while being strapped to a comet.

This first part of "Seveneves" takes up over 600 pages and for most of its parts reads like an action version of Stephen Baxter "Flood/Arc" duology which explores similar matters in a slightly more sombre and brutal way. Despite being great on this own there's one thing that's missing in this whole build up - there's no trace of that bonkers humour that Stephenson often uses and there's lots of bad sex.

But luckily, just at the moment Stephenson takes the story into the far future and delivers the last third of the book in a fashion that completely blew my mind. Poetic, scientific and beautifully written, these last 200 pages are some of the finest stuff he has ever written. During these pages his imagination is off the scale and while the big reveal is once again slightly predictable, the finale completely blew my mind. In hindsight it feels like those 650 pages were an overwritten introduction for the last 200 where's the vast extent of his Seveneves concept is finally revealed. As evolution, helped by a healthy dose of genetic engineering, makes it course across the generations each of the seven eves has effectively kickstarted a race on her own – each with their own intricacies and traits that make them special. It's incredibly complex and well worth re-reading many time. If only it was longer.

To conclude, "Seveneves" is a book that will probably polarise the readers. The premise is unquestionably great but the duality of the book might be off putting to some. It is miles away from my favourite works such as "Anathem" or "Baroque Cycle" and vastly different to "Reamde" but there's one thing that you simply can't mistake. It is that uniqueness that separates Stephenson from everyone else. Conceptually it is simply unlike anything I've read before and it is only after I've re-read it that I've truly realised how consistent it really is. Quite simply, one of the books of the year.


Review copy provided by HarperCollins.
Order Seveneves by Neal Stephenson here:

Lisbeth Salander and the Day of the Girl

 

Well known fact about "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is that its original Swedish title is "Män som hatar kvinnor" which translates to English as "Men who hate women". This infinitely more disturbing and unsettling title goes a long way to show what Stieg Larsson had in mind when he wrote his landmark trilogy. In fact, Larsson felt so strongly about this original title that he, as his partner Eva Gabrilsson later revealed, refused to let the publisher change it into something more commercial. The subject of violence towards women weighted heavily on his mind all throughout the entirety of his life ever since he supposedly witnessed three of his friends sexually assaulting a girl and he has done nothing to prevent it. The veracity of story has never been verified but whatever the truth, Larsson pushed all his disgust and hate towards such people into Lisbeth Salander, the girl at the heart of the "Millennium" series.

Lisbeth is an almost impossibly vivid and complex creation. She's a rape survivor herself, has been abused as a child and yet she's not labeling herself as a victim. She fights back instead. She's incredibly intelligent and capable. Both beautiful and ruthless. She has style and prowess for violence. She's capable of love and not ashamed about her sexuality but behind the facade she's also insecure about her appearance. She's highly introverted and most often than not a completely antisocial person that challenges the norm and is hard to accept by general population. And I haven't even mentioned her computer skills. All of this goes a long was to form that elusive creation. A character that is complex enough to feel real. Because aren't we all a bit like that? There's always something horrible in our past, we always worry about how we look, and we distrust the government at least a little bit. Our lives are similarly messy but we're not nearly gutsy enough to do something about it. Lisbeth does it all for us. That's why Lisbeth is so fascinating to us as readers even though I'm pretty sure that most of the people would be a bit scared of her if they met her in real life.

Lisbeth is a perfect modern literary heroine - strong, feisty, independent and damn clever. She's the main reason behind the success of the "Millennium" series so it is no wonder that fourth novel in the series carries the subtitle "A Lisbeth Salander novel". So let's all forget for a moment how truly silly the notion of celebrating fictional character's birthday is, and raise our bottles for Lisbeth and this Day of the Girl.


Order The Girl in the Spider's Web here:

REVIEW : Glorious Angels by Justina Robson

 

Justina Robson is one of those one-of-a-kind authors that defy easy classification. Her "Quantum Gravity" certainly looked like run of the mill action science fiction if you judged it solely by the covers but once started digging deep you would probably be surprised by what you would find - complexity, philosophy and all around strangeness. Robson's first standalone novel in years, "The Glorious Angels" doesn't hide away behind its cover art. The synopsis states it clearly and instantly promises "a thrilling mix of science, magic and sexual politics". "The Glorious Angels" delivers all this and plenty more. It is Justina Robson coming at its readers with all guns blazing.

For a book that mostly about ideas, "The Glorious Angels" sports a suitably impressive setting. The story is set on a matriarchy world ruled by mind-linked empresses. There's magic that shapes the world and is literary connected their their fickle moods. The power is spread across 8 cities and as the story open we're in Glimshard, second city of the Golden Empire and Westernmost Outpost of Civilisation. As Tralane, an engineer, is working when she overhears that Karoo has been seen. A strange creature that threatens to bring the war. That is just the beginning for her as the story unfolds through the eyes of many different very effectively used points of view we learn that Glimshard is not immune to political manipulations, backstabbings and social disorder. Amongst all this an archaeological site slowly enters the picture and brings about the chance of finding a long forgotten technology that has the power to usurp everything.

 

I'm intentionally obtuse about the plot as I don't want to spoil the story but if there's one advice I can give to all new readers it is that you should read "The Glorious Angels" slowly. There's an insane amount of characters, information and philosophy that just begs to be explored in details. As such, "The Glorious Angels" is one of those books that deserves a re-read and I hope to do one soon. I won't pretend that I understood everything the first time around and I've read few paragraphs more than once but that's the beauty of Robson's writing. She never looks down on the reader. Best of all, "The Glorious Angels" is a book about women - one which plays with tropes but sets them on a level playing field, which is exactly what we're all fighting for. I waited for something this intelligent for a long time and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Having previously mentioned that this was a standalone, the ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel or two so it'll be interesting seeing whether something will happen in the future. All in all - a tremendously deep read! One I would recommended to all veteran readers of the genre fiction.


Review copy provided by Gollancz.
Order Glorious Angels by Justina Robson here: