by Walter Jon Williams4.5 Stars
What an amazinglyoriginal piece of what could be best described as hard-fantasy. This novel is a hybrid cross of fantasy and science fiction. Much of it plays out like a cyberpunk novel, while at other times it feels like a steampunk alternate universe story. This is not an action based novel, nor is it a dialogue type novel. It is a superb piece of world building. Walter John Williams meticulously crafts an alternate world where Plasm(sort of like electricity)is a priceless commodity for mages. This world is inhabited by people, by god like "Ascended Ones", bygenetically enhanced men, and even some sentient dolphins.
The whole concept of plasm for magic is really cool:
"Andthe power – plasm – resonates within the human mind. It is susceptible to control by the odd little particules of human will, and once controlled, can do almost anything – on the small, microcosmicend, plasm can cure illnesses, alter genes, halt or reverse aging, create precious metals from base matter and radioisotopes from precious metals.
On the macrocosmic and plasm can create life, any kind of life a person can think of,
caninvade a target mind, destroy a person's will and make him a puppet for the manipulator, can burnout nerves or turn living bones to carbon ash, turn hatred to love or love to hate, can wreak death in any number of obscene forms, can fling missiles or bombs or people anywhere in the world, all in a snap of the fingers..."
Aiah is a good female lead that I would like to know more about. It is strange to me that even though she is basically the only point of view, we are never really let into her inner psyche. We needed more backstory on her and her family, and maybe the second book will shed more light. Although I liked Aiah, I fear that she may be forgettable.
Williams writing is outstanding. He takes world building and makes it the focus of this original story. I would have liked more action, but as an intellectual andsocial study type story, it worked. This book felt like Pashazade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, and that is a good thing. I wish he would have penned more action as the few parts that he did, are all very good.
"She walks down Bursary Street,flame shooting from her fingertips. People scream and wither and die. Buildings explode outward at a wave of her arm. Glass shatters at her scream. Power rolls in her bones like a lake of fire."
I will remember this book because of its originality. It is a rare form of hard level fantasy. I will definitely read the sequel and highly recommend this book to fantasy readers that do not need all scenes to be blood, magic, and killings.
|Title||Metropolitan (Metropolitan, #1)|
|eBook format||Mass Market Paperback, (torrent)|
|Author||Walter Jon Williams|
|File size||3.9 Mb|
|Book rating||3.81 (700 votes)