Thursday, 2 August 2012

'Night's Engines' - Trent Jamieson

Trent Jamieson is back with Night's Engines, the second and final part of the Nightbound Land duology. Last year Roil was one of my favourite fantasy books so there was never any question of if I should read it Night's Engines, only when. I want to thank Angry Robot Books for once again providing me with a precious book.

If you have not read Roil, but you are planning to, you might want to skip my plot summary as I will reveal some of the stuff that happened in Roil.

Shale is dying. The Roil is spreading its darkness and warmth around the world, and city by city is falling. The mighty armies assembled are smashed, the airships are torn from the sky, the soldiers turned into roilings.

David and Margaret are holed up in the city of Hardacre waiting for their allies to secure them an airship to bring them north to the engines of the world. Once there, David can destroy the world to make it whole again. The question is, will the Roil reach them before they have even left Hardacre?

There is a lot to like about Night's Engines, as much as about Roil. For starters, the world building is second to none. I keep referring to the series as a fantasy, which is what it feels like, but it's really somewhere in the middle of SF and fantasy. Shale harbours a secret, what is the Roil, why is it trying to destroy the world? There is more to the world building than a intriguing selection of flora and fauna, the political intrigue is as fascinating as its creatures. Several factions are doing what they think is best for the survival of the world, and hopefully, their views will converge before it's too late for Shale.

A good setting is maybe all you need to make a movie, but for a book you need good characters as well. Trent Jamieson provides the full package. It's hard to not sympathise with David, the lost young man, who is thrust into a living nightmare, and whose only escape is drugs. In Night's Engines he matures, maybe not voluntary, adding more depth. Margaret, our strong independent bad ass girl, is David's stalwart protector. When he is weak, she is strong. Easy to like, especially when she shows some vulnerability.

Night's Engines is the ending Roil deserves. I had a good time reading it, and they are two very good books you should read.

Night's Engines weighs in at 384 pages, and is published by Angry Robot Books.