String City is bursting at the seams with an originality that left me in awe of the author’s ability to fit so much into one novel. This is a well-crafted, fast-paced detective story, filled with science fiction and fantasy elements. It’s as though everything from the speculative genres converges in this singularly unique place. The author tackles complicated concepts with ease, diving into interdimensional travel as though it’s second nature. The experience is a wild ride, to be sure, and any descriptions I can provide of the epicness won’t do it justice. Check this one out if you want to marvel at an author’s ability to put imagination behind every word.
The story splits between an investigator trying to solve various cases and an overarching terror that continues to escalate. The cases are pretty typical, but it’s the clientele who provide a real spectacle. All of the figures of mythology are here, from cyclops to Jason to Arachne to the Titans. The modernization of these larger-than-life characters brings them down to Earth, adding a hilarity as they go about their strangely normal lives. It’s hard to imagine a Titan hiring a private investigator to catch a thief but in String City, it’s second nature.
I’m a sucker for a brilliant setting and this is one of the most original I’ve seen in years. The scope and inventiveness of every little aspect was mind-blowing to me. The author has taken the concept of string theory and embodied it as a place. The city surprises at every turn. The rips in time are the stuff of fantasies and nightmares, all jumbling together into a vertiginous journey through reality. There are robots, vampires, zombies, and so many gadgets that I can’t begin to explain. Things that make copies of yourself. Things that allow you to travel unfathomable distances in the blink of an eye. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, our protagonist pulls something else out of his pocket and defies further laws of physics.
To sum it up, String City exudes an impressive display of narrative confidence that shines with witty characters, inventive storytelling, and a setting with few rivals. By the end, it’ll seem completely normal to fold yourself in half in order to travel through a rip in the fabric of the universe.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
By Graham Edwards
Reviews & Robots has an affiliate relationship with the Amazon Associates program and may be compensated for sales related to the Amazon links enclosed in this article.