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The Waking Engine Hardcover – February 11, 2014
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“This debut fantasy is a fever dream of vivid imagery and dark luscious prose, reminiscent of China Miéville in its byzantine, steampunk-influenced cityscape.” ―Library Journal, starred review, on The Waking Engine
“Edison breaks some new ground here, and even when he's in familiar territory, he finds his own way of exploring it. An impressive debut.” ―Booklist on The Waking Engine
“Intensely descriptive and detailed, The Waking Engine will spur readers' imaginations.” ―RT Bookreviews
“Highly original, beautifully weird, deeply immersive, The Waking Engine is a storming debut and a fantasy guaranteed to trip you out.” ―Adam Christopher, author of Empire State and The Burning Dark on The Waking Engine
“A novel of gigantic--nay, cosmic--ideas, brought down to earth by witty characters and a delightfully clueless everyman protagonist. Universal apocalypses don't come any bigger, or more entertaining.” ―Alex Bledsoe, author of The Hum and the Shiver on The Waking Engine
“David Edison makes his debut with a novel of great creativity and richness. There's nothing small about this story, from its remarkable premise to its cast of splendidly mad characters and its complex, beautifully realized world. I can't wait for the next volume.” ―Delia Sherman, author of The Freedom Maze on The Waking Engine
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Top Customer Reviews
Any fan of the fantasy/sci fi genre should take note of this highly inventive debut novel, and any fiction reader should pay attention to Edison's future output. While there are some basic problems with the novel, its numerous strengths outweigh them, most particularly the obvious talent Edison has for the writing craft. With greater experience and perhaps a bit less ambition than displayed in this novel, Edison could be a powerhouse.
"The Waking Engine" probably falls closest within the category of 'urban fantasy', but it is truly a mix of multiple genres. This blending of disparate elements becomes the defining aspect of the work, from its influences, its structure, its writing, its plot, etc. Remarkably, most of these pieces end up working when put together.
The strongest accomplishment (as appears universally acknowledged by both those that liked the book or not) is the world building. I am not convinced that the universe of "The Waking Engine" is wholly original in its ingredients - they are mined from a host of archetypic stories - but Edison certainly molds these into something his own. Decent fantasy world building is not particularly unique, but what Edison does excel at is the revelation of this world to the reader. The reveal is gradual, full of mystery, and thereby very captivating. It almost invites the reader to shout out questions as they try and gain footing in the uncertainty, bizarreness, and confusion. Tying the protagonists discoveries to the revelation for the reader helps make him relatable and helps drive the plot forward.Read more ›
The Waking Engine was a freaking mind-trip and a half! Splintering my braincells doesn't even begin to cover it! The concepts alone were mind bogling and so kick butt that it took every bit of my rapt attention to process it all. You die but then you wake in some other world...and you can die again countless times, each time possibly awakening in another world!? What the frick right!? But this city in which the book takes place, where souls go to die, the City Unspoken, it defies my every attempt at description. A place I both long to see and hope I never see, where all worlds collide in a big crazy hot mess of odd...of the best kind of course.
"A most deplorable gem of a borough." - pg 22
"Earth?" Asher crowed. "You named your home after dirt?"
"Hey, **** you." Cooper frowned. "You're supposed to be filling me in, not attacking my cultural heritage. The afterlife is hard enough as it is." - pg 28
As it continues to disquiet my mind and give me the creepy crawls...
There is something to be said about descriptive images and content that can literally get under your skin - but in such a dark way that you know deep down these things are just wrong, wrong. You end up having visceral feelings of both revulsion and fascination that you can't stop yourself from reading. I dig it...I reeeally dig it. I felt a bit of that because some of the things taking place are just that morbid. It explores pieces of humanity that might be better left in the dark but that when you see snatches of it, like a train wreck you can't or won't look away.Read more ›
To be completely honest, I couldn't finish the last 10% of the book. It kept getting worse and worse, but when Cooper met
Richard Nixon, I thought it was clever. Until Nixon began a main character, and I realized the author thought he understood Richard Nixon far better than he really did. An enternal unboy? And an unnecessary racist? What the what?
When he met Cleoptra, I actually kind of bought it. She was around just long enough, and presented in the right context that I could believe it. Which is funny, since she's a cliche for people who claim they're reincarnated from Cleopatra.
But when "Walter" turned out to be Walt Whitman, I just couldn't do it anymore. There's a line, and that's well past it.
Note: I received an eARC of The Waking Engine through Netgalley for an honest review. Some things may be different in the final version.
This book has adult content.
The Waking Engine by David Edison
Published by Tor Books on Feb. 11th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Sci-fi
Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.
Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.
Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.
Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Richly imaginative, set in a fantastical realm inhabited by disguised aristocrats, gods and goddesses and gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls, “The Waking Engine” is one of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by John Kwok
Far too clever for it's own good.
The story starts interestingly enough but soon the characters are drowning in the convoluted and unneccessarily confusing attempt at a... Read more
This was a hard book to finish. In style it reminds me a little bit of both Neverwhere and Alice and Wonderland. Read morePublished 7 months ago by W. Lancaster
This book gets two stars...both represent the world concept of the "Metaverse." A worthy and thought provoking idea. The praise ends there, though. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Todd Gutschow
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A book with very big ideas that ultimately just didn’t deliver for me. Read more
David Edison's The Waking Engine is definitely one of the best and most imaginative new weirdish fantasy novels published during the recent years. Read morePublished 12 months ago by "Seregil of Rhiminee"
What an unexpected and fresh find! I did not expect such a richly realized world especially given the intriguing premise. I cannot wait for the sequel! Well done!Published 13 months ago by S-Mo