I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
Reading the description for the book I thought this would be another book preaching the Christian religion and trying to get everyone on the path to God but I was pleasantly surprised. I try to stay away from Spoliers in my reviews so I'll just say that our protaganists and their interaction with people in the past was a lot of fun. I found myself laughing at many points in the book. I am not a strictly devout Roman Catholic but I was raised in the faith so although my recollection of every story in the bible isn't near perfect I was able to remember enough to really enjoy the different events Tom and David encountered. My foreknowledge so to speak, did not ruin parts for me but instead enhanced the story I think.
On to the elephant in the room. Will a strict atheist enjoy the book? I have to say they might not. A very lage part of the core of this book takes for granted that Christianity is correct. I can't say more without offering up Spoilers so that is all I can say about that. I think that in order to really enjoy this book you must at least believe that a higher power just might exist. If you can not at least concede that point then sure, you might enjoy the book simply for its fictional storytelling value, but I think that you might not enjoy this book.
This book was one of those rare books where I was dreading the end but not because the story was bad or something bad was to happen, I wanted the story to keep going. I could not put this book down. I listen at work when the situation allows and two days running I made it home in the morning only to sit in the car an extra 10 minutes to keep listening.
The author has a very good writing style. He kept the story moving along and he kept me interested. I often speed up the narration to get through the boring parts in a book but I was finished with this book before I noticed that I had never even thought of changing the narration speed.
The concepts in this story can keep the protagonist busy for at least 2 more books in my opinion. I really hope the author continues this storyline.
I purchased God Save the Queen during a lull in other book series I was reading based on mainly the reader's reviews. I was not disappointed and now I can't wait for the next book in this series.
The story took a little at the start before it started to pull me in but when it did, I couldn't put it down. It is a refreshing tale that I'm sure will entertain you as it entertained me.
The book has vampires, goblins, and even werewolves but their story is told in a refreshingly different style. Goblins are almost always little dingy monsters with sharp teeth that are mainly used as battle fodder but here they are dangerous to the extreme even when alone. It is not the same old take on the same old characters.
This book also does a great job at mixing up the modern science and technology with the magical and mystical. One does not preclude the other but instead the author meshes them together very well and in a manner that draws the reader into the story.
Give it a chance and I think you'll enjoy the book.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
This book has been getting some buzz lately. While I'm not as gushy about it as the majority seem to be (for reasons I'll get to in a bit), it's a nice work of urban fantasy, with a creative premise and a level of writing that's a cut above the norm. The setting is a lyrical New York City circa 1900, with its patchwork communities of immigrants and workers, its seedy, dangerous neighborhoods, and its idle, wealthy aristocracy walled off in their palatial estates. Into this storied place come two creatures out of myth. One is a golem, a woman made from clay by an unsavory old man with knowledge of the occult arts, then given life-like features. She is brought into existence in Poland to serve as a wife for a sad sack of a man who is about to use the last of his squandered family fortune to emigrate to the US. However, he dies midway through the ocean voyage, leaving the golem to continue on her own, masterless, after the boat docks at Ellis Island.
The other lead character is the jinni, a being of fire who was captured by a Syrian wizard, fixed in human form, then imprisoned in a flask. Centuries later, a metalsmith living in a Syrian neighborhood of New York accidently releases him.
Wrecker does a lovely job with her creations' personalities. The golem, based on the robot-like creature of Jewish legend, has a stolid, practical temperament, and struggles to navigate the confusing human world without a master to give her direction. Instead, she finds herself animated by the needs of *everyone* around her -- though they pull in such conflicting directions, the net effect is a sort of free will. For her, being a capable worker, it's a world she can find a place in, but not one where she feels entirely happy or safe.
The Jinni on the other hand, is a tempestuous, restless being, capable of making a good living as a craftsman, but too independent to take direction well and easily frustrated by the rigid social rules of the human world. He takes to wandering the streets at night, making new acquaintances in both low and high places, and searching for secrets about his forgotten past. Naturally, these two protagonists encounter each other, and develop a friendship that starts in mutual curiosity, then continues through mutual exasperation, then deepens as they begin to expand each other's understanding of the world and their lives intertwine with the humans around them. It's a lovely odd-couple story, helped even more by audiobook narrator George Guidall’s capable reading of the two central personas.
The novel's strength lies in Wrecker’s unhurried, descriptive passages, which beautifully evoke turn-of-20th-century urban America, the noise of trains, the grit and grime of cobblestone streets, the daily hustles, worries, and woes of her characters, and the general press and jostle of humanity. The two inhuman protagonists both have their own perspectives on this world, on relationships, religion, morality, and two separate immigrant communities that exist streets away, but worlds apart. It’s fun to watch their views play off each other, never quite agreeing, but deepening one another.
However, I found other aspects of the book underwhelming. The side characters aren’t very interesting. After the midpoint of the story, the fantasy elements begin to dominate the plot and the drama becomes a little forced. The action in the final chapters unfolds in somewhat of a jumbled, rushed way. More attention from an editor would have helped.
For me, though, the strengths of this one outdo the weaknesses. If you like novels that mix history, magic realism, and escapism, check it out. 3.5 stars.