- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager (June 11, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062672495
- ISBN-13: 978-0062672490
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Grand Dark Hardcover – June 11, 2019
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“Kadrey has written for us a beautiful nightmare — one that’s often eerily familiar — showing a theatrical world set on the edge of war, and losing itself in the shadows of brutality and oppression.” (Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers)
“The Grand Dark is a miracle of the old and the new: a tale of weimar decadence that is also a parable for our New Gilded Age [...] It’s a fun and terrifying ride, gritty and relentless, burning with true love and revolutionary fervor.” (Cory Doctorow, author of Radicalized and Walkaway)
“Wildly ambitious and inventive fantasy from an author who’s punching above his weight in terms of worldbuilding—and winning.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Stunning. The hard, spare, considered voice that’s driven Kadrey’s gonzo supernatural noir has been honed to a deft Kafka-esque edge. Unsettling and dreamlike, seductive and bleak, the jaws of The Grand Dark gape to devour you.” (Max Gladstone, author of Empress of Forever)
“Artisanal gene mod and robots and coal dust and a big middle finger to the oligarchs, plus bicycles!” (New York Times bestselling author Kevin Hearne)
“[For] readers who like morally complex characters and enjoy their fantasy on the dark side.” (Booklist)
About the Author
Richard Kadrey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim supernatural noir books. Sandman Slim was included in Amazon’s “100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime,” and is in development as a feature film. Some of his other books include The Wrong Dead Guy, The Everything Box, Metrophage, and Butcher Bird. He also writes the Vertigo comic Lucifer.
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The setting is fascinating. Everything is sooty and dirty. Automatons called Maras are taking over people’s jobs. Odd creatures called chimera are biologically engineered. Pretty much everyone is doing drugs in an effort to not fall into despair, and the city is suffering under the results of the last war. The plays that Remy stars in are lurid affairs of sex and murder.
I would have liked to see Remy have a little more agency in a certain set of events. There are also one or two small loose threads at the end of the story. But I really don’t have any complaints. This is an all-too-vivid story that comes to life brilliantly on the page. I had a great deal of difficulty putting this book down!
I highly recommend this book.
Kadrey creates a world of paradox. Decadence and decimation go hand in hand within the book. There is also wonderful steampunk meets dark science aspect to the world Largo lives in. A informative style choice Kadrey makes is to sprinkle throughout the book pieces of either historical events or propaganda or advertisement to help paint the picture of the world Kadrey had created. It gives the story the ability to push forward at all times and meanwhile the reader still becomes more informed. The story takes Largo all over this world in THE GRAND DARK and while at times it was hard to keep the geography and all of the different names of regions straight, I appreciated the detail that went into creating this world and the regions within it. I found myself have emotional responses to each place along with Largo and I think that goes to how well the reader attaches to and pulls for Largo and the ability of Kadrey to help the reader feel the environments that Kadrey describes. The book builds and build towards an exciting and monumental conclusion that leaves the reader satisfied.
A uniquely dark world is created in THE GRAND DARK and by the end of the book, I felt not only did I understand this world, but I relished it and hoped to return to it the future.
Thank you to Harper Voyager, Richard Kadrey, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
This was one of those books that had a low thrum of tension throughout the whole thing, that feeling that things were weird and wrong even though you didn’t yet know what. But since I didn’t really know what the plot was working toward, I didn’t have this sense of things building, and the book felt slow for about the first 2/3. The beginning of the book also seemed to be more world-building and descriptions of settings than plot, and the articles and things that were between chapters sometimes only slowed the pace more. That being said, once things did really start building and take off around the last third, they got pretty twisty and complex.
Largo’s characterization was really well done though. He was so flawed, yet also a character I sympathized with. He had dreams, but he just kind of settled with his life as it was. He had a pretty dead-end job and a crappy apartment, and he spent most of his free time and money on drugs, including one called morphia that he was addicted to. Largo didn’t always make great decisions in life, but he had a good heart. He cared about others. He wasn’t as judgmental as many people around him were. And when he came across an opportunity to better himself and maybe one day achieve his dreams, he jumped on it. He also realized some things about himself and changed throughout the story. The supporting characters felt believable too, even if they weren’t explored as much. This book also did a great job showing how situations and lives and people can spiral down or out of control.
I’m not sure if this is considered sci-fi or fantasy or some combo of the two. Personally I’d say it’s kind of dystopian. It’s got robotic technology and government conspiracies and plague and strange creatures made with eugenics all set in a darkly decadent and vice-ridden city.
I struggled with what rating to give this book because it wasn’t a bad book, but it still wasn’t quite right for me. I struggled with all the description and with not knowing where the plot was going, but the characterization of the main character was strong and there was a lot of complexity put into the story, and I think some readers will really enjoy this!
Rating: 3 Stars
Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight (link in profile)