Wow, if I thought the last delay was long, this one took the biscuit! I didn’t forget about my #YearOfIndie challenge even whilst I was busy creating the Lucky Beggar Trilogy paperback edition, which was super fun but also way more time consuming than i was expecting. I was very stop/start on my reading over the last couple of months and I felt so bad about it that I actually started Metropolitan Dreams over again so I wasn’t rejoining after such a long break. I am glad I did because this is a complex narrative with a lot of moving parts and it helped make sure I knew what was going on.
Metropolitan dreams has a complex narrative that feels very different to anything I have read in a while. It alternates between first and third person and switches between several characters, allowing the action to move around at a fast pace but also provide insights into characters motivations and feelings. It is based in London and the author does a wonderful job of painting the city in vivid detail, including some of the seedier parts of town. Having worked just outside St. Pauls cathedral several of the areas featured were familiar and the writing really took me back there. This is not a picture book London, it is a dark and dangerous place.
I loved how the story slowly layered in the more magical elements onto an otherwise gritty London. I don’t want to say too much about these powers for fear of spoiling the fun, but they were intriguing and I look forward to seeing how they continue to evolve and develop in the next book. The ‘magical’ characters were two of my favorites and I enjoyed the interplay between them.
One thing I will note is that with the shifting perspectives and multiple characters it did take me a little while to get used to the rhythm of the story and the early chapters jumped around quite a bit, but once I settled into the idea of moving between characters I really enjoyed this style. The other challenge was with the sheer number of characters. Some of them didn’t get as much air time as I would have liked. In particular I would have loved to know more about the main villain, but there are several other antagonists who do get a lot more background.
Overall I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next one.
I don’t read much Urban Fantasy but I really enjoyed the contrast of having magical elements in such a grounded and real world setting. Mark has certainly encouraged me to check out a few more books in this genre.
Next up on the reading list is Murder at the Playgroup by Liz Hedgecock. I’m looking forward to switching gears and giving you my thoughts on this cozy mystery, which should be happening much sooner as I already a good chunk of the way through it!