Shale is in trouble, dying. A vast, chaotic, monster-bearing storm known only as the Roil is expanding, consuming the land.
Where once there were twelve great cities, now only four remain, and their borders are being threatened by the growing cloud of darkness. The last humans are fighting back with ever more bizarre new machines. But one by one the defenses are failing. And the Roil continues to grow.
Trent Jamieson’s “Roil”, the first book in “The Nightbound Land” duology, promises… and delivers.
I was lucky enough to come across this work as an eARC from the publisher Angry Robot Books. The brilliant cover art quickly caught my attention and the blurb piqued my interest.
From page one the reader is thrown deep into the world of Shale, the story unfolding as details of the world, incredible and horrible, are beautifully laid out in front of you. Trent has constructed an wonderfully detailed world of Steampunk with a Fantasy/Sci-Fi twist.
The introductory chapters are as a result a bit on the slow side. So slow in fact that I almost put the book aside and moved on to the next on my reading list.
This would have been a big mistake. Once I got past the initial world and story introduction the pace picked up nicely and flew towards action and twists which kept me reading. I had a hard time setting the book down to get other stuff done.
By the end of the book my main problem with the work was that I can’t wait for the release of the second part of the duology, “Night’s Engines”, currently scheduled for sometime in 2012.
You can read a sample chapter here, the book is available from bookstores and online retailers Amazon, B&N in paperback and e-book formats on August 30th, 2011.
Edit (12/9/11): You can catch the audio version of this review over at The Dragon Page.