Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book #3

Roil, by Trent Jamieson. Unabridged audio.

This was a frustrating novel for me. The book has some definite strong points -- the premise is unique, the world-building and setting is impressive, and the lead characters have great potential. But the plot, and aspects of the writing, fell short of what I was hoping for.
Eight of the world's twelve metropolises have been consumed by the Roil. The huge storm, a mix of atmospheric turmoil and frightening monsters, is expanding, and it is up to the world's last humans to fight back. The humans use their ingenuity to build weapons and machines of a vaguely steampunk nature to fight the Roil, but its reach seems relentless. The machines and weapons that inhabit the world -- the partially organic airplanes, endothermic guns, floating citites and huge steam trains -- are incredibly fun to read about.

The three main POV characters -- a drug addict, a revenge-seeking woman, and a man who may be thousands of years old -- are all edgy and non-heroic, and these aspects fit this world well. But the process of bringing this ragtag band together seems a little slow, and I confess that I had trouble paying attention to what was happening, especially for the first two-thirds of the novel.

I am a "plot first" reader, so these weaknesses were especially frustrating to me. But readers who focus on premise, or setting, or characters, are more likely to find Roil an enjoyable read.

Source: From Brilliance Audio, via the Book Guys podcast.

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