Sometimes you just don’t want to travel and explore different lands. Sometimes you don’t want to be the daring hero, charging at a dragon with sword held high.Sometimes you crave that little bit of insecurity. That little bit of mystery. Well, we’ve got some here for you. While not all technically mystery novels, these authors do understand that sometimes things are supposed to be a bit mysterious.
“In the darkness of a underground cave system, blind creatures hunt by sound. Then there is light, there are voices, and they feed… Swarming from their prison, the creatures thrive and destroy. To scream, even to whisper, is to summon death. As the hordes lay waste to Europe, a girl watches to see if they will cross the sea. Deaf for many years, she knows how to live in silence; now, it is her family’s only chance of survival. To leave their home, to shun others, to find a remote haven where they can sit out the plague. But will it ever end? And what kind of world will be left?”
This one is strange, but intriguing. It honestly tells us very little about what’s actually going on in the plot. We know we’re in Europe, there are blind monsters that hunt by sound and there is a deaf girl and her family. That’s about it.
If the strategy behind this summary was to raise questions, it has certainly succeeded. Who is the girl? Why does her family live near a den of monsters? For that matter, what are the monsters? Can the monsters even swim or built boats to cross the sea? I guess you’ll need to read it to find out. They kept the mystery intact beautifully here.
Or it could just be a really shit summary.
Tim Lebbon has written a few thrillers and dark-fantasy novels, won 2 awards and his short story “Pay the Ghost” has been adapted into a screenplay. The Silence has a decent pedigree, then, but with so little information on the plot to go on, we’re just not sure if it’s worth picking up. It could be tense and gripping or slow and dull, we certainly can’t tell from the summary.
The Doors You Mark Are Your Own
“Joshua City is one of seven city-states in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce and technology is at mid-twentieth-century Soviet levels. As the novel opens, the Baikal Sea has been poisoned, causing a major outbreak of a flesh-eating disease called nekrosis. Against this backdrop of political corruption, violence and oppression, a struggle for control of Joshua City ensues, and a revolutionary group called The Underground emerges.
The Doors You Mark Are Your Own is a sweeping literary epic—the result of years of painstaking writing and world-building by two brilliantly imaginative minds—that readers will get lost in and never want to end.”
Well, this certainly promises the moon, doesn’t it? We’re not sure those years of writing have paid off, though. The years of world building might have, but the writing……We’re a little sceptical. Why? Well, read the summary again. It doesn’t mention a protagonist.
No, it’s not just that the protagonist isn’t named. The protagonist isn’t mentioned. At all. That’s a strange approach. It’s not exactly something you can leave out of your story.
No matter how beautiful or clever your world is, it’s not what drives the story. We’re not reading your book because of the world, we’re reading because a story takes place in the world that we want to follow. If the summary can’t give us reason to be invested, why would we think the rest of the book can.
Despite this, we do realize that the atmosphere being described is something that greatly appeals to some people. If you’re into some of the themes mentioned in the summary, it might be an engaging read for you.
We have issues with the summary, but this could still be a very interesting novel. Maybe the summary just didn’t do the story justice and the protagonist will turn out to be a truly great character. If you’re willing to gamble on that and you like the themes, then check it out.
The Machine Awakens
“When the deposed Fleet Admiral is assassinated, Special Agent Von Kodiak suspects the new guard is eliminating the old. But when the Admiral’s replacement is likewise murdered, all bets are off as Kodiak discovers the prime suspect is one of the Fleet’s own, a psi-marine and decorated hero–a hero killed in action, months ago, at the same time his twin sister vanished from the Fleet Academy, where she was training to join her brother on the front.
As Kodiak investigates, he uncovers a conspiracy that stretches from the slums of Salt City to the floating gas mines of Jupiter. There, deep in the roiling clouds of the planet, the Jovian Mining Corporation is hiding something, a secret that will tear the Fleet apart and that the Morning Star, a group of militarized pilgrims searching for their lost god, is determined to uncover.
But there is something else hiding in Jovian system. Something insidious and intelligent, machine-like and hungry.”
When we first read this we figured it might be part of a larger series, but this appears not to be the case. Again the approach here appears to be to leave a lot of questions and hope it leaves us intrigued. It seems to be a running theme with the books we chose this time. At least this one tells us what the main character is named.
Admiral of what fleet? What’s a psi-marine? Where is Salt City? Well, mission accomplished guys, you have our attention.
We’re not quite sure what to expect from this novel, though. Cristopher has been praised for his early sci-fi work, so we have no reason to think this will disappoint. The first paragraph almost makes it sound like NCIS in space, but then it starts talking about a secret that’ll tear the fleet apart and lost gods and suddenly that comparison doesn’t really seem accurate anymore.
This mixture certainly has us interested and we might just pick this book up. After all, few things are not improved by including space ships, so let’s see if that holds true for a detective story and the search for lost gods.
All we know is that if Kodiak isn’t constantly carrying a camera everywhere, we will be seriously disappointed.
What did you think? Are these the novels you’ve been waiting for, or would you rather read the ones we discussed last week? Let us know in the comments!
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