Gears of the City

Gears of the City

Book - 2009
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In this stunning follow-up to his acclaimed debut,Thunderer,Felix Gilman's brave hero returns from one thrilling and dangerous quest only to confront another. In a magical landscape where time is meaningless, reality precarious, and countless selves work toward countless possible futures, one man must seek a city's truth--and rediscover his own. Imprisoned with a prophetic half human, half beast, the lost man learns his name:Arjun. Slowly the terrible memories emerge, and at last he remembers where--and when--he has been. . . . In the last days of the once great city of Ararat, Arjun is just another ghost lost in the shadows of the Mountain. To some, the Mountain is a myth, to others, a weapon. Above all, it is a dark palace leaving its seekers to wander the city below. For no matter how far one walks, the Mountain never draws closer, and time itself becomes another trap. Rescued by two sisters from the mindless Know-Nothings who erode what's left of the city, Arjun volunteers to retrieve their long-lost third sister from a ghost like himself: Brace-Bel, another man out of time. It will require a perilous trek through ruins to a decadent mansion--one surrounded by traps and devices that could not possibly exist yet. And what awaits Arjun inside is something he could not possibly have imagined. As he struggles to recover the lost girl and piece the fragments of his life back together, Arjun knows he must finally return to the beast to hear the rest of its prophecy. But each step is more treacherous than the last . . . and the beast who knows his fate may pose the most deadly trial yet. A spellbinding novel of imagination and intrigue,Gears of the Citywill propel you into an adventure like no other, in a world like no other. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Bantam Spectra, 2009.
ISBN: 9780553806779
0553806777
Characteristics: 452 p. ; 25 cm.

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norareyeurs Nov 09, 2014

Perhaps because I don't normally read works of this genre, the story seemed extraordinarily original. But I don't think it was a lack of familiarity with the genre even though from a previous review I might have felt differently if I'd read the first of this series. In any case than this might be a review as a stand alone.
I had a fanciful recall of the Maltese Falcon from one of the elements of the story but something like a passing thought. I felt, what seemed to me, to be subtle reminders of Gilman's influences from literature and maybe even cinema. Whatever the case the story is seamless and he puts it together in the way of true originality. The characters had depth despite the fantastic themes. The ending had a satisfying subtlety. Although there were so many it ways it could have ended, this was truly just right.

d
dunrobin
Mar 28, 2010

I was disappointed in this book. The first book of the series was impressive due to the memorable characters, plotting and amazing descriptions of the city. This book takes up where the first one ended and, perhaps, suffers from mid-trilogy let down.
I found that I lost my suspension of disbelief which is essential when you want to take a reader into strange and wondrous places. I did not have a clear picture of what many of the main protagonists looked like and although the author still excels at describing "The City" after a while it just sounds like another slum.
We can hope that there is a third book coming with a more editing.

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