Sometimes, the amount of time that passes between when I receive a book from NetGalley and when I have a chance to read it is longer than I’d like. Because of this, I may forget what the book is about or why I selected it. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing; I just forge ahead and see what happens, trusting in my original inclinations. In the first couple of pages of this book, I was reminded of Cold Mountain, and mistakenly imagined I was reading about soldiers returning from the Civil War. Well, not so much. This is not the Civil War, and these are not those men.
Bobet’s fantasy is remarkable for its realistic details; she has recreated our world, circa the late 1800s, and turned it on its head. The old cities with their towering skyscrapers are a thing of the past, and the people who remain live off the land in traditional farming communities — only now their men are off fighting a ruthless dark god. The comfort found in this bucolic scene is shattered by the appearance of an inescapable evil, far from the original scene of battle.
This is a compelling, eerie tale. While some of the story is predictable and less convincing, Bobet keeps the narrative moving with her vivid descriptions and attention to detail. I cared about these characters, and I was afraid of that dark god and the wretched monsters he unleashed on their world. So yes, I am a wuss, and you will probably be braver and just muddle on through the scary bits. But in the end, like me, you will be happy you did, because Bobet has woven a lyrical, heartbreaking tale of a strange and unforgettable new world.
p.s. – I loved this cover – makes me want to go out and buy a hard copy of the book.