Currently I'm a librarian and before that I was an archaeologist, a journalist, and definitely a bit of a world traveler. I tend to mostly read science fiction and fantasy, though I do love a good mystery and I'm a bit of a book dabbler overall. I've been doing Goodreads for awhile, but a friend thought I might enjoy this as well. Let's see, yeah?
Now, with a completely different kind of darkness than the last book...
This book is probably at the very edges of Grimness that I can ingest and still enjoy. There were a few parts that tipped a little too far -- a line or a paragraph here or there that was so distubring that if the story hadn't been as gripping as it was, I'd have put the thing down.
However, since the story WAS that intriguing, that just knows the rating down a little for me.
This isn't the kind of book to read because you're going to enjoy the characters -- most are flawed and if they don't start out that way, they'll definitely get there. There's not a lot of lasting happiness in this book. Most of that makes sense, though. This is, after all, an alternate World War II where the Nazis use cruel, violent, and unethical child experimentation to create psychic super soldiers and the British can only survive by calling upon forces best left in the dark.
The characters are utterly fascinating and very real. It's true that I prefer characters I can admire or aspire to, but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate a well crafted horror. (well, or broken person) One thing I never felt of firm ground about is who exactly the heroes or villains are. I mean, obviously Nazis follow terrible principles, but as individuals... Well, when I examine the actions of the four main characters and try to figure out what really drove them it just seems entirely possible that later in the series Tregillis could flip everything on its head. Maybe there are no villains, really... Or maybe they all are?
This is a world run by "the Greater Good" and, as such, isn't one that I'd care to experience first hand, but I keep hoping that somehow things will get better for them. I think that hope is one of the traits that kept me tapping that Kindle button all the way until the end.