I really, truly, had no idea what I was in for with this book. And I absolutely loved it — devoured the whole thing in an evening, and promptly added the sequel to my wish list. I desperately want to know where the whole series is going, because it’s a wonderful mystery.
The setting feels near-feature, and has some things that are very clearly influenced by what’s going on in current events.1 Except for the whole “this isn’t Earth” thing, which combines with some of the linguistics and a few mentions of a distant-past Collapse, to have me think that it’s actually far-future, and we’re looking at a colony that’s building itself back up towards interstellar travel after a galactic-scale human civilization… well, collapsed. Which means that the founding mythology, and some of the hand-wavey end of the world prophecy stuff going on could, in fact, be leading up to some large-scale science fiction things. Hey, look at that, we’ve looped back around to “I desperately want to know where the whole series is going,” how about that.
Sitting on top of this wonderfully rich setting, though, is a very fun police procedural/murder mystery thing, and that is also a delight. A murdered monk, a cynical cop, his new upbeat rookie partner, it’s a hodgepodge of well-worn tropes and new twists, and it works so very, very well.
- There’s a two-page interjection explaining a cryptocurrency that’s Definitely Not Bitcoin. To my knowledge, it’s fairly accurate, and highlights one of the key potential failings of the technology, while leaving out the primary failing of it. That said, this world apparently has nuclear power pretty figured out, which mitigates the energy concerns, so, I’ll allow it. ↩
- This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores. ↩