Hello people! I wish you the best possible start to this new week! I am not really intrigued by my working schedule today (and for the next few days too!) but I am looking forward to a small vacation so… I can’t really complain, can I? But anyway, I am here with a new review, so let’s get started!
Thanks to NetGalley and to the Editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Expected Publication Date: March 15th, 2022
A bleak glimpse of a world of savage tyrants, from award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Ogres are bigger than you.
Ogres are stronger than you.
Ogres rule the world.
It’s always idyllic in the village until the landlord comes to call.
Because the landlord is an Ogre. And Ogres rule the world, with their size and strength and appetites. It’s always been that way. It’s the natural order of the world. And they only eat people sometimes.
But when the headman’s son, Torquell, dares lift his hand against the landlord’s son, he sets himself on a path to learn the terrible truth about the Ogres, and about the dark sciences that ensured their rule.
Talking about this book is hard. Really, really hard. Because there is so much packed in this small book. And it is a sort of fairy tale, a classic hero’s journey, sci-fi and rebellion mixed up. Just with more into it. And I can’t really say how the author manages to cram so much in so few pages. It is astounding. Because we have all the ideas that are dear to the author, we get the “our world is slowly, or not so slowly, dying, and it is all our fault” that we can find in every, or almost, every book by him (I am not really an expert, but I have read a few and I have read a ton of reviews for the others, too, because I want to read them all… I just have to find the time! And this seems to be a constant), but he finds new ways to explore them. It’s a bit like all his books are a sort of variations on the theme, and he did every time an amazing job with it, every damn time, writing something completely different, captivating, and thoughts provoking while hooking you up on the story and the characters. And this is exactly what happens with this new book, too.
We get a new take on the hero’s journey, for example. And the author is pretty vocal about it, he said it time and again while telling us the story. And telling us he did, because the story is in the second person, and address directly both the reader and the main character. And we get to know our hero, from the beginning. And it is a story as old as the time, and yet it is new in so many ways.
You were always trouble.
Inevitable, really. And you weren’t to know it, but you were following a particular trajectory. The Young Prince is always trouble. A youth, misspent in bad company and oafish pranks, who can mend their ways when adulthood comes rapping at the door, is more prized than any number of young paragons. People remember, but fondly.
And we have a world that is intriguing, to say the least. We get to know it slowly, in glimpses at first and then we slowly become immersed in it. And it is an astounding world, where magic and science are pretty blurry, at least at first. And again, we have a trope that it is not so new, the past as a new future, brought on us by our own mistakes. But again it is made new before our eyes.
And we have the importance of knowledge, and the importance of thinking. Especially, we get the importance of stories, and of our narrative. And we get social injustices and we get, over and over, that our downfall is written inside us, us as human beings, us as a society, and that the solution could have been right there before our eyes if we just wanted to see it.
Because in the end, changing the world was too complicated, and left to their own devices people wouldn’t change their habits, and so we had to change the people.
And the author takes us to some unexpected places, and sometimes it is gruesome and hard and cruel. And sometimes you can see the humor in it, too. And sometimes it would take you by surprise. But the story is alive on its own, and it would take you along for a really interesting, and thought-provoking, journey.
I think that this is quite the masterpiece, really. The only downside was that, for me, it was a bit lacking on the personal enjoyment level.
It seems like I have some problems with the short work of this author. I have read two full-length novels and two short ones. I loved the firsts, and I simply enjoyed the seconds. So I enjoyed them, and this is not bad, but they were a tad disappointing because I was expecting and hoping to love them, especially more so because the ideas behind the short works were brilliant, so obviously between that and the fact that I love the author, I had some expectations. And they were disappointed. Not because the short works were bad, at all, because both of them were pretty great, but because I didn’t love them as I was expecting. There was something lacking, but I think it has more to do with the format than anything else. I am not usually a fan of short stories, even if I have read some amazing ones, too. There are some that I loved, so it is not a made deal, but usually, I am not the biggest fan, I need more space to really feel the characters, maybe, or something like that, and so in the end, it feels like something is missing. But… but they are not bad. And this one, this one is really something!
I really think that this short book deserves to be read and to be known. And I also think that this would be an amazing addition to any bookclubs, because there is so much potential for discussion in there. It is surprising. And it is all so well wrapped up. Even if I was hoping to enjoy myself more, with this one, it was a really important reading, and I had a good time with it. And, the most important thing of all, it made me think!
What do you think about this? Have you read it? Or are you interested in it?? Let me know!!