Release Date: 21/03/13
A thousand miles east of Mirgorod, the great capital city of the Vlast, deep in the ancient forest, lies the most recent fallen angel, its vast stone form half-buried and fused into the rock by the violence of impact. As its dark energy leeches into the crash site, so a circle of death expands around it, slowly - inexorably - killing everything it touches. Alone in the wilderness, it reaches out with its mind. The endless forest and its antique folklore are no concern to Inspector Vissarion Lom, summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist - and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head at the children's home. Lom's investigation reveals a conspiracy that extends to the top echelons of the party. When he exposes who - or rather what - is the controlling intelligence behind this, it is time for the detective to change sides. Pursued by rogue police agents and their man-crushing mudjhik, Lom must protect Kantor's step-daughter Maroussia, who has discovered what is hidden beneath police headquarters: a secret so ancient that only the forest remembers. As they try to escape the capital and flee down river, elemental forces are gathering. The earth itself is on the move.
To be honest this book is difficult to categorise as, depending upon who reads it, it’ll fall into any number of categories, so the best way that I have to analogise the book, is that think of genre as a person and this is title is a chestburster. It has certain genetic imprints within it from the host but contains a whole lot of its own DNA to create something not only alien but unique to their donor.
This book is something that I found not only gripped me but one that left me puzzling things for quite some time as the machinations of the society to which the principle character pertains, led me a merry dance as I tried to figure it out. The world building is solid, the prose sharp and to be blunt it’s a story that has so many twists and turns within that you are left at times without a clue about which direction up is.
Throw into this rounded characters that take on a life of their own; some cracking dialogue which when backed with an author with a great idea of misdirection and sleight of hand which all round made this a book that I had a hell of a time putting down. Great stuff.