SpeculativeFiction


Devices and Desires


Devices and Desires is the first book of the Engineer trilogy, which follows the life of an engineer exiled from his relatively modern and industrial city. The reason for the exile is obvious enough at first glance; the engineer has committed the crime of building a device that does not follow the appropriate Specification, an act which the ruling guilds consider an abomination, punishable by death. Yet even as the engineer struggles to escape from his fate, he conceives of a great engine that he can construct, an Engine which could set the world back on its rightful course... but to do so may require destroying everything he treasured.

The writing is engrossing enough, and the characters who become involved in the story are fascinating and realistic. They are not necessarily sympathetic, however. Everyone has their own interests and acts accordingly.

There were a number of areas where my suspension of disbelief suffered, mostly to do with the setting. Could an industrial city of the type described here actually thrive in a medieval environment? I suspect not; the gap between the industrial city and medieval surroundings is very stark. But these concerns do not overly interfere with the enjoyment of the work.

Overall, it's a good read and capable of holding the attention, but it won't win prizes for deep thought or careful world-building. The strength is in the characters.

Mon Feb 18 04:34:09 CST 2008 by Matthew. Comments



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