by Alan Campbell
A dark fantasy novel set mostly in and around a city suspended by chains above a deep abyss filled with secrets, this book manages to be both inventive and conventional. Inventive, in the fantasy imagery and ideas, and also occasionally in its prose; conventional, in its characters and much of its plot. It’s a first novel, and what I’d have to call “promising”. On the one hand, there’s real writing talent, but on the other, there’s a slickness that threatens to smother the genuinely new and intriguing aspects of the book. A mixed bag, but it does push its story further than you might expect. On the whole, as I said, promising; but I find myself with not much to say.