Thursday, 1 March 2018

The Smoke by Simon Ings - blog tour review

Publisher: Gollancz

Humanity has been split into three different species. Mutual incomprehension has fractured the globe. As humans race to be the first of their kind to reach the stars, another Great War looms.

For you that means returning to Yorkshire and the town of your birth, where factories churn out the parts for gigantic spaceships. You’re done with the pretentions of the capital and its unfathomable architecture. You’re done with the people of the Bund, their easy superiority and unstoppable spread throughout the city of London and beyond. You’re done with Georgy Chernoy and his questionable defeat of death. You’re done with his daughter, Fel, and losing all the time. You’re done with love.

But soon enough you will find yourself in the Smoke again, drawn back to the life you thought you’d left behind. You’re done with love. But love’s not done with you. (Publisher's blurb)

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Smoke. I haven't read any adult books for ages and this one really captured my interest. I found this an intriguing story set in an inventive, disturbing version of the world we know.

It was so brilliant to read a book set between Yorkshire and London: two places I know better than any others. This added to my enjoyment of the book because the descriptions were very evocative of both settings, making the science-fiction elements all the more distinctive. I really liked how this story slipped between the strange and familiar, and it was quite refreshing that sometimes it took effort to work out what was happening!

The writing style was very distinctive, as the first section of the book is written in the second person and then shifts to the first. I thought this might be difficult to get used to but it actually ended up making me read really carefully instead of speeding through as I usually do. That was handy when getting to grips with the complexities of this world. 

Another thing I liked about this book was that at times it had a very contemporary feel, showing a relationship at different (sometimes non-linear) points and getting under the characters' skins. At other points, the science-fiction plot came through very strongly, pushing the boundaries of the surreal in a way that I found alternately entertaining and unsettling. 

I've never read anything like this book before and it's definitely made me think about broadening my range. I think more books by Simon Ings might be a really good place to start!

You can check out the other blog tour spots using the handy graphic below:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this fab review Amy and linking up to the British Books Challenge. Because it was published on your blog in March I have moved over to the March linky for you xx