Published by Tor Books Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Science fiction
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Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.
Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.
Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.
Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.
I must have taken the red pill!
The Waking Engine was a freaking mind-trip and a half! Splintering my braincells doesn’t even begin to cover it! The concepts alone were mind boggling and so kick ass that it took every bit of my rapt attention to process it all. You die but then you wake in some other world…and you can die again countless times, each time possibly awakening in another world!? What the frick right!? But this city in which the book takes place, where souls go to die, the City Unspoken, it defies my every attempt at description. A place I both long to see and hope I never see, where all worlds collide in a big crazy hot mess of odd…of the best kind of course.
“A most deplorable gem of a borough.” – pg 22
“Earth?” Asher crowed. “You named your home after dirt?”
“Hey, fuck you.” Cooper frowned. “You’re supposed to be filling me in, not attacking my cultural heritage. The afterlife is hard enough as it is.” – pg 28
As it continues to disquiet my mind and give me the creepy crawls…
There is something to be said about descriptive images and content that can literally get under your skin – but in such a dark way that you know deep down these things are just wrong, wrong. You end up having visceral feelings of both revulsion and fascination that you can’t stop yourself from reading. I dig it…I reeeally dig it. I felt a bit of that because some of the things taking place are just that morbid. It explores pieces of humanity that might be better left in the dark but that when you see snatches of it, like a train wreck you can’t or won’t look away. These bits and pieces may not appeal to some readers and indeed I think it will either spice up the reading experience or it will turn some readers off completely. For me? Maybe I’m just a bit sick and twisted because I found it riveting. Ate. Up. Every. Word.
-what possible flavors of the bizarre should he be preparing for? Dragons? Zombies? Dark Lords or Evil Empires? Mind control? Trickster gods or elaborately plotting aliens? – pg 29
Mine, all mine! I think I’m more than twitterpated
The Waking Engine must have been written just for me because there wasn’t a bit of it that I didn’t like. The humor of the characters, the bleak landscape of their minds, the sadness in their souls, the cynicism oh, such cynicism! I can’t even begin to tell you! Each character held me in their grip and gave me something to love. There are no cookie cutter molds used here folks! A crazy mixture of fantasy, urban, science fiction, all kinds of punk, horror and just cool stuff, lots of stuff. You want random descriptions? Children that aren’t children, mecha-fey, gothboys, undead skylords, bloodsluts and poisonwhores, pampered sadistic princesses, mutilated angels, drunken gods…need I go on?
The villainy…oh be still my beating heart!
I am a seriously avid fan of villains. Mad scientists, evil master minds, wicked would be gods, etc, etc – I can’t ever get enough. So if you give me a villain that is well written, deliciously dark and warped AND whose head I can really get lost in!? One with depth that isn’t just evil for the sake of being evil! – then you can bet your rump, anyone who dares talk to me when I have that book in my hands risks a verbal lashing the likes of which they’ve never seen if they dare interrupt me. I kid you not when I say my husband tried to talk to me while I was reading this and I kept shaking the finger at him to leave me alone. Til finally he got so insistent that I pushed the book from my face and made the most pathetic weepy wailing cry. I shrieked…at him, yes sir I did. Pathetic apologies on my part were made later. It might have gone something like this…but I can’t be sure: “Why can’t you just leave me alone until I’m finished or the house is on fire!!?? ahhhhhhhh!”
If you are looking for a journey into the weird, the twisted, the darkly funny and yet at moments achingly touching such that it will make you heartsick – well then look no further. I strongly believe The Waking Engine is either a book to love or loathe. So approach with caution. *smirk*