Publishing Date: November 2015
Publisher Description: In a fractured Europe, new nations are springing up everywhere, some literally overnight. For an intelligence officer like Jim it’s a nightmare. Every week or so a friendly power spawns a new and unknown national entity which may or may not be friendly to England’s interests. It’s hard to keep on top of it all. But things are about to get worse for Jim. A stabbing on a London bus pitches him into a world where his intelligence service is preparing for war with another universe, and a man has appeared who may hold the key to unlocking Europe’s most jealously guarded secret…
Review: Pocket universes, evil cabals, dynamic characters and espionage round out this fascinating novel by Dave Hutchinson.
This style of writing takes some getting used to. The story line just starts without any preamble or explanation of the world or events that have transpired leading up to the present condition. It is really inventive, although not a new concept. This novel was not without some story line and plot frustration due to this style of writing. This occurred in the sewer tunnels when a new set of characters were introduced and the story line abruptly ended. There was no gradual reveal. In this case, Rupert is somehow inserted as a spy into some opposing organization?? and Eleanor is introduced and abruptly terminated. We never know who she is and whom she represents. Her colleague??, Leo, gets a pass when Rupert shoots her.
There are bits and pieces within each scene throughout the novel that you hope will get sorted at some point. But it doesn’t. I can follow the most complex of SciFi novels to the jumbled ramblings of E. Lustbader, and I could neither manufacture a story line to fill in the gaps nor was there any cumulative resolution. Towards the end, the story kind of rambles off into the distance and what would have been a solid 4 star rating dropped to 3. 5.
Still, this was an enjoyable read with epic world building that is somehow housed within contemporary Europe.