George V. Reilly

Review: Thunderer

Title: Thunderer
Author: Felix Gilman
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 527
Keywords: fantasy
Reading period: 27 July–2 August, 2009

Ararat is vast, unknowable, unmappable, home to many living gods who make their presence felt. Arjun comes from his far-distant home, seeking the Voice, the god that abandoned his people. He arrives as the Bird sweeps through the great city, trans­form­ing it by its passage, only to be captured in the warship Thunderer. A boy, Jack, also captures part of the Bird’s power as he flees the workhouse.

Gilman has created a city rem­i­nis­cent of China Miéville’s New Crubuzon, a vast baroque tapestry of neigh­bor­hoods, ruled by heavy-handed oligarchs squabbling to enlarge their fiefdoms. Miéville is a better writer, but this is a fine debut novel from Felix Gilman.

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