Review published on July 26, 2017.
Every now and then you have the privilege of reading a book that is so unlike anything you have ever read before and it absorbs you completely and stays with you long after you have turned the very last page.
Smoke by Dan Vyleta is just such a book.
It has been compared by some of the reviews to an adult Harry Potter, but I think its nothing at all like those books. They are unique and so is Smoke.
The story of Smoke is sinister, darker and more intrinsic to human nature even though it is a fantasy novel. You can easily imagine a world in which it is entirely possible that people’s hostile feelings and thoughts are visible to all.
Smoke has undercurrents of politics and religion with observations about social status, what kind of families we are born into and whether goodness and therefore badness or evil are caused by nature or nurture and whether they can be controlled and educated.
The story is very intelligently constructed and slowly builds pace and thrillingly reveals yet more strange and fantastical goings. For the most part, the main characters are not lovable in any way, they are cold and damaged and they are living in an almost Dickensian time. The atmosphere of this book is bleak and black and smokey but it is a fantastic read that I would not hesitate to recommend.
Karen Carissimi 5/-
Smoke by Dan Vyleta
W&N 9781474600958 pbk Apr 2017
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