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City of Dreams & Nightmare: City of a Hundred Rows, Book 1 [Kindle Edition]

Ian Whates
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

THEY CALL IT "THE CITY OF A HUNDRED ROWS". 

City of Dreams & Nightmare is the first in a series of novels set in one of the most extraordinary fantasy settings since Gormenghast - the ancient vertical city of Thaiburley. From its towering palatial heights to the dregs who dwell in The City Below, this is a vast, multi-tiered metropolis, and demons are said to dwell in the Upper Heights...

Having witnessed a murder in a part of the city he should never have been in, street thief Tom has to run for his life. Down through the vast city he is pursued by sky-borne assassins, sinister Kite Guards, and agents of a darker force intent on destabilising the whole city. Accused of the crime, he must use all of his knowledge of this ancient city to flee a certain death; his only ally is Kat, a renegade like him, but she has secrets of her own...

File Under: Fantasy [ Towering City | Ancient Secrets | Murder Most Foul | Kite Guard! ]


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Adventures in a nightmare citadel - a story that hits the ground running and doesn't let up." - Liz Williams

"Born story-teller Ian Whates takes us on a gripping, terrifying trip-of-a-lifetime, through the heights and depths of the exotically grim city of Thaiburley, in this excellent fantasy thriller." - Tanith Lee

"[It] grabs you pretty much from the first page... Highly recommended." - Fantasy Book Critic

"City of Dreams & Nightmare is a brilliantly executed novel, perfectly paced, beautifully described and a true joy to read." - ScienceFictionandFantasy.co.uk

"I have had The City of Dreams and Nightmare on my TBR pile since the date of release and now wish I had read it sooner, for I denied myself the pleasure of a thoroughly good book!" - Temple Library Reviews

From the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets - Honey the golden cocker spaniel, Calvin the tailless black cat and Inky the goldfish (sadly, Binky died a few years ago).

Ian's love of SF began while he was still at school, manifesting itself when he produced an SF murder mystery as homework after being set the essay title "The Language of Shakespeare", much to the bemusement of his English teacher. His first published stories appeared in the late 1980s, but it was not until the early 2000s that he began to pursue writing with any seriousness.

In 2006 Ian launched independent publisher NewCon Press, quite by accident. That same year he also resumed submitting short stories, selling some 25 to various venues by the time May 2008 arrived, including two to the science journal Nature. Another story, "The Gift of Joy", was shortlisted for the BSFA Awards in 2008.

Ian is currently the chairman of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), and edits Matrix, the online news and media reviews magazine. The author lives in Cambridgeshire, UK.

Product Details

  • File Size: 474 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (October 26, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00472OBV6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,531 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(6)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plot is "meh" but the characters are great! December 24, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not entirely sure why I picked this book up. I can't remember if it was because I liked the concept of the setting or what, but I am glad that I did.

The story centers around Tom, a thieving gang's member (or "street-nick" in the book's parlance) after he makes an attempt at stealing something from the upper reaches of Thaiburley but instead witnesses a murder and so goes on the run from agents of Senior Arkademic Magnus (both legitimate and less so). Magnus would like to frame Tom for the murder. Tom, being of a considerably lower social class than Magnus, fears that the frame job might stick easily. While on the run and trying to get back to his home territory, Tom is guided by Kat, who gets embroiled in a few unrelated messes. The mess that takes up most of the book is that someone is changing the allegiances and actions of the street-nicks, which has more direct consequences for both Kat and Tom and farther reaching consequences for everyone else.

Plot wise, this book had a lot of promise. There is a murder in the first few pages after all. But the plot kept getting distracted, like a kitten with way too many wiggling strings to choose from. First there's the murder with its attached frame job. Then someone's doing mind control on the street-nicks in Tom's layer of the city. Then there's more conspiracy that is tangentially related to the murder but focused on other more political things. Any one of these could have been great, if the plot cared to focus on them individually. It should have possible to weave all of those disparate elements into a more cohesive lead in the the next book without resorting to a deus ex machina character.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read December 8, 2010
By Badbob
Format:Mass Market Paperback
City is based on a clever concept, a vast, many-layered city with a social and economic structure based on what tier you are on. There are lots of interesting ideas and people to keep the reader interested. Whates lacks the hard-edged, gritty writing style to make this work to best advantage however. City is not advertised as a juvenile novel, but it reads like one. Still, City is a good read and I'm looking forward to the next City novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good fast-paced story July 22, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a writer, I was most impressed by the author's excellent use of language. His English is almost impeccable, a great rarity among modern writers. Apart from that, I enjoyed the characters and the constant tensions and crises, the twists and turns of the plot. There are a number of original ideas that impressed me, for example, a political leader who cares about the people he leads rather than deceiving and exploiting them. The technology is a fascinating mixture of the supernatural, some surprisingly modern innovations mixed with things positively medieval. The most gratifying as far as the conflict and violence are concerned was that this society had not taken to firearms and other weapons of mass destruction. Most combat took place face-to-face. The whole society is a puzzling mixture good and evil, cruelty and great kindness. It's a pleasure to read a writer who does not fall back on worn out cliches and foreseeable plot twists. I plan to read more of his books.
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More About the Author

Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home down a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village in the UK, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets. Ian's love of science fiction began while still at school, manifesting when he produced an SF murder mystery as homework after being set the essay title "The Language of Shakespeare", much to the bemusement of his English teacher. Ian also represented his school at various sports, including football, squash, and table tennis, while swimming saw him perform for both school and the county of Hertfordshire! Such athletic feats are now ancient history. These days he exercises only his mind and his imagination (and, occasionally, a cocker spaniel called Honey).

In 2006 Ian launched independent publisher NewCon Press, quite by accident (buy him a pint sometime and he'll tell you about it). That same year he also resumed submitting short stories, and has now seen some 40 appear in different venues. He is currently the chairman of the British Science Fiction Association and co-organiser of the Newcon conventions in Northampton, UK.

Ian also likes to write books, and has two novel sequences ongoing, the 'Noise' books (space opera) via Solaris, and the 'City of 100 Rows' series (urban fantasy with steampunk and SF overtones) through Angry Robot. Anxious not to have too much spare time on his hands, Ian started work a new SF series towards the end of 2010... So watch this space!



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