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Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson
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Europe at Midnight (2015)

by Dave Hutchinson

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*spoilers of the first volume are present*
The second book of the Fractured Europe starts not from the point where the first one finishes and all protagonists are new, a few persons from the first volume make an episodic appearance. Thus it is more a spin-off than a second volume. At the same time, it is essential to read them in sequence to fully enjoy the text.
So, in the first volume we found out that there is a parallel universe with the really great ie large Britain, which encompasses both the Europe and Asia. Protagonists of the second volume will tell us its story. The book starts in the university, the one hinted in the first book, just after some unspecified revolt. The place is to some extent is a parody of old English collages. The ‘feel’ of the book become even more British, with corduroy breeches, tweed suits and five o’clock tea, the Great Britain that existed chiefly, if not fully in the literature and not in reality.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
When I reread my review of Europe In Autumn, I realized I’d actually written a review for Europe At Midnight already. Nearly everything I mentioned there holds true for this second installment in the Fractured Europe Sequence: no filler, solid prose, interesting geopolitical setting, some references to spy novels, no pretension, entertaining, fresh, snappy, imaginative, gritty. As you might know Midnight is not a sequel to Autumn, but more of a companion volume.

So, what’s the new?

(...)

If you haven’t read the first book, do not read the next two paragraphs. While reading it struck me that Europe At Midnight is a kind of 21st century version of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. That might sound a bit goofy, but bear with me… Just like Susanna Clarke’s 2004 masterpiece, it has Englishness all over it it. And even more importantly, it also deals with characters wanting to explore a hidden alternate reality, an alternate reality that is woven from a different fabric, but very connected nonetheless. This other universe is also at odds with our own, and is of a conservative nature, a universe stuck in a bygone era.

(...)

Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It ( )
  bormgans | Mar 27, 2017 |
When I saw the synopsis for this book , and the others in the series, I was rather worried that it was going to be a political diatribe for/against the unity of Europe (mainly pro United Europe I'd guess). But it was actually a rather intriguing setup - the world had suffered a devastating flu epidemic a few years earlier, which had led to a fractured US and a Europe that was fracturing in front of people's eye; Venice has finally declared UDI from Italy so the English intelligence office Jim has plenty on his plate but when he is tasked with investigating the asylum claim of someone who could have been born up the road from himself, he finds that the politics of a fractured Europe were relatively simple. Not one hidden reality, but two; one, the Campus, a group of academics and the Community, apparently a refuge of an England that had never really existed in quite that form.

Another in our reading group's read through of the 2016 Arthur C Clark award, it has certain thematic similarities with one of our previous books, Iain Pear's 'Arcadia', in that the focuses (foci) of the stories are based on novels (Arcadia) or maps (this one). I don't know how likely the Community would be but I could see the superficial attraction it would have to a certain type of person. The Campus was completely artificial and utterly dependant on the Community even though it was completely unaware of the Community or our own reality (is it ours?). Overall, in the end I did find that this was an interesting tale. ( )
  JohnFair | Mar 6, 2017 |
Read it in a day. Dave Hutchinson is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. ( )
  deeronthecurve | Jan 19, 2017 |
Europe At Midnight continues the story from Europe In Autumn but does so in a way that produces a very different feel for the reader. The story mainly unfolds in England and in the pocket universes introduced at the end of the previous book, but as these are modelled on England, there is very much a flavour of England rather than continental Europe. The action is also slightly toned down, more Le Carre than Fleming with a touch of Lewis's That Hideous Strength. At first this change in tone was disconcerting but it grew on me as I read on. The spy-thriller is well paced and suspenseful but the intriguing aspect of the story is the exploration of the sociology of the closed worlds alongside that of post-trauma Europe. All in all, a worthy follow up to the first volume of the trilogy. 11 January 2017. ( )
  alanca | Jan 12, 2017 |
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On chill misty mornings, I liked to walk down to the river and fish for a while.
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"Europe is crumbling. The Xian Flu pandemic and ongoing economic crises have fractured the European Union, the borderless Continent of the Schengen Agreement is a distant memory, and new nations are springing up everywhere, some literally overnight. For an intelligence officer like Jim, it's a nightmare. Every week or so a friendly power spawns, a new and unknown national entity which may or may not be friendly to England's interests; it's hard to keep on top of it all. But things are about to get worse for Jim. A stabbing on a London bus pitches him into a world where his intelligence service is preparing for war with another universe, and a man has come who may hold the key to unlocking the mystery"--Publisher's description.… (more)

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