Post-apocalyptic sci-fi or fantasy? Who knows. There is so much to this book: the jungle prison of terror, the weird weird forest outside, the intrigues everywhere, the broken, broken people, the capital, the city under the city, and the return … that return. The protagonist is an educated idiot, but it’s signalled clearly enough to not be too grating. The non-protagonist characters are largely cool or interesting, and I generally enjoyed myself a lot.
But … I don’t know what to think. On the one hand it felt more ambitious than the usual Tchaikovsky. There is more world-building scope, there are more actual people (rather than just props being moved around). At the same time, it feels all so muddled, looking back: Does it have any direction? Coherence? It’s feverish in a way that sometimes nearly reminds me of (blasphemy!) Dhalgren. But it feels so inconsequential at the same time. I’ve got no idea how to rate this.
This book is part of the 2022 Backlog Incident.