On a council estate, one tragedy hits after another. A man shoots in a play area, people are gripped with depression, friends betray each other. And social worker Phil Trevena’s patients keep dying. Darkness and oppression grow and seem the grip the lives of the characters all around, with guilt, despair and terrible thoughts gripping even the most lucid minds. And then the monsters begin to appear – and the people who can turn them back…
GOODNESS ME THIS BOOK WAS EXCELLENT!!!! I read it and thought – I’ve never read a book that does anything like that before. After an extremely dark and seemingly real opening focussing on the difficulties of seriously troubled people, it opens up into fantasy, expanding and explaining the happenings of the beginning – and then races around an intriguing and original fantasy system in order to stop terrible things happening. There is a fantastic range of characters, stories, backstories and more – and though it feels a bit chaotic it really really works!
I considered giving up on this book in the first section. I was pretty sure that it was meant to be fantasy, but instead I was delving into the darkness of people’s very troubled minds – and it got bad. It was bleak, hopeless and horrible – but just in time, things began to change. And what an amazing change! From something that seemed totally realistic we were suddenly burst, along with the characters who did not know it before, into a world where the monsters that we assumed were in heads are real – and where they can be stopped. From then on I was transfixed!
As I mentioned before, this book follows a huge number of characters, and I did occasionally find myself a little lost. In remembering, stories and characters are fragments rather than complete storylines. But I would say this was part of the experience – everything was moving at a chaotic pace, and therefore it was appropriate. The characters we journey with are experiencing the same sensation. And the book still managed a sense of closure at the end – I’m obviously going to have to read it again to understand it a bit more.
Probably what I loved most about this book is just how much it surprised me. I’ve never read a blend of fantasy and realism like that before – and it was interesting to tie it in to mental illness. Go and read this everyone!
Thanks so much Solaris for my review copy! It’s out 10th November everyone!