Friday, June 17, 2016

Smoke by Dan Vyleta

As far as premises go, this is a good one: a dystopian-isa Victorian England, where sin is visible in the form of smoke that seeps and escapes from your body with each bit of anger, lust, greed, or worse. Except, the upper class seems to be able to overcome their tendencies to smoke, leaving the underbelly of society to wallow in their own soot, thieving, killing, and morally depraved. Yet, has it always been this way?

To me, the most compelling aspect of this story was how smoke came into the world, and the cover-up of the time before smoke. But this isn't addressed as thoroughly as other aspects. The story centers around Charlie, Thomas, (and later Livia), three adolescents born to the upper class, swept into the mysteries around smoke. There is evil, too, that emanates from both the world of politics and from the prestigious boys boarding school Charlie and Thomas attend. Told from varying points of view (both theirs and other characters) the story unfolds, but for me, without a satisfying conclusion.

I wish I could remember who recommended this book so highly to me. I'd like to discuss it with them.

tags: 2016-read, alternate-history, dystopian-ish, fantasy, read, read-on-recommendation, rounded-up-in-star-rating, thank-you-charleston-county-library, thought-i-was-gonna-like, great-cover

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