Hachette Book Group (AU)
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The Drowning City (Necromancer Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
Downum effectively combines action, magic, police procedure and political intrigue in this complex and striking debut. (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)
Like the worlds she imagines, the words of Amanda Downum are lyrical, persuasive, and evocative. If you read only one first novel this year, read this one. I promise it's good (Elizabeth Bear)
Intense, atmospheric fun (STRANGE HORIZONS)
A very enjoyable first novel (SFREVU) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B004NYB792
- Publisher : Orbit; Digital original edition (3 December 2009)
- Language : English
- File size : 977 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 388 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 328,304 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The world in which the delta city of Symir is set was definitely one of the better parts of this book. It's beautiful and potentially fascinating - to be honest, I would have liked more detail. There was just enough to make me curious about the history and geography of Downum's creation.
As for characters, while some people didn't take to Isyllt Iskaldur, I liked her straight off. Interestingly, though, she's not the incredibly kick-ass heroine fashionable that the moment. To be honest, she doesn't seem to actually do a lot (although I wonder how many people in real life find themselves in a situation that rapidly runs out of control and have enough on their plates just keeping their heads above water, so to speak).
The real strength of this book seems to be the imagery - not in the sense of beautiful prose, but in the sense of the pictures it makes in your head. You just don't really care that there isn't so much a plot as a bunch of people working at cross purposes until it all goes pear-shaped.
There wasn't anything bad, as such. However, the characters were much less well-drawn than the setting. This book suffers, I think, from too many points of view. George R.R. Martin does this brilliantly, but then he works all his characters in over thousands of pages, making sure that you know them well enough that you care when he kills them. When you try to cram multiple points of view into less than 400 pages, it makes it harder for the reader to connect with any of the characters at all.
As I mentioned before, the plot wasn't so much a plot as things happening. Isyllt spends more time reacting to others' actions than initiating anything herself.
I hovered between giving this three stars and four, and in the end opted for four stars. The world-building is just too good for three stars, and besides, I'm almost certainly going to read the next book in the trilogy. So four stars it is.