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City of Dreams & Nightmare: City of a…

City of Dreams & Nightmare: City of a Hundred Rows, Book 1

by Ian Whates

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If I could give this 2.5 stars I would. It had a lot of elements that I like. Magic, constructs, monsters, intrigue but it didn't really gel for me. My biggest problem, right from the start was that I couldn't picture the city. It sounded like it was some very unique construct of "rows" that were stacked on top of each other but the description didn't make sense to me. So I was distracted for a long time trying to figure out how a character could fall off the wall and pass by other "rows" which I guess were levels like the different floors of a building but I'm not sure. I really wanted to be astounded by this "cool/original" idea for a city but I couldn't be so that was disappointing.

Then also in the beginning the main character's name is Tom, but another important character's name is Thomas. That helped add to the confusion of things.

I liked the multiple bad guys/intriguey thing. I liked the frantic pace of characters being chased around.

I didn't like the kind of deus ex machina of the Blade and the ending seemed to take too long wrapping things up. I also wasn't a fan of the cliffhanger left at the end for one of the characters. ( )
  ragwaine | Jun 27, 2015 |
City of Dreams & Nightmare is a bit patchy, but overall I had fun reading it. It reminded me of half a dozen other stories -- Stephen Hunt, with a touch of Miéville and all those fantasy stories where an unremarkable street-girl/street-boy becomes oh so terribly important. There were a lot of ideas, and I was fascinated, but around three-quarters of the way through it wears thin: suddenly we find out that everything has been orchestrated by someone, that the danger was never really that bad.

The overall effect is that things seem to be over almost as soon as they really began to move toward a climax, and then the last few chapters feel awkward. Obviously they're setting up the rest of the series, and some of it is really effective -- the scene in the Pits at the end, for example -- but some of it just feels rushed.

I'm interested enough to read the other books at some point, though not to buy them if they're not in the library. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
...City of Dreams & Nightmare is mostly a quick, fun read. It is not particularly a challenging read and in terms of worldbuilding, I feel Whates leaves a lot of aspects of the city and the world surrounding it a bit underdeveloped. He doesn't quite fulfil the potential his creation offers. That being said, there will be more books in this series and obviously there has to be something left to explore. Tom and Kat's flight through the City Below, trying to keep a step ahead of the nameless players that would see them killed is a thrilling experience. One that has convinced me to see if Whates can put a bit more meat on the bones of his story in the next volume.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Mar 5, 2011 |
On the back cover of Ian Whates’ debut novel, City of Dreams and Nightmare, it says “FILE UNDER FANTASY”, but I’m not convinced. City of Dreams and Nightmare is certainly genre fiction, but its best fit would be science fiction. Yes, there are bits of steampunk in there, and the whole has something of the feel of a fantasy. But too much of the book’s furniture is out of science fiction’s store for Angry Robot’s advice to ring true.

Which is not to say that readers of fantasy won’t enjoy it.

Tom is a “street-nick”, a member of a teenage street gang formed from orphans and abandoned kids. Tom has been dared to visit the highest levels of the city, ostensibly to steal a “demon’s egg”. In Thaiburley, the “City of a Hundred Rows”, social classes have been made physical – the higher the Row, the higher the social standing. Tom and the other street-nicks live in the City Below, the lowest part of Thaiburley. The “demons” live on the city’s roof with the Masters.

Rest of review here: http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/2010/05/25/city-of-dreams-and-nightmare-ian-whate... ( )
  iansales | Sep 4, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0857660497, Mass Market Paperback)


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! ]

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:34 -0400)

The ancient city of Thaiburley is a vast, multi-tiered metropolis. The poor live in the City Below 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. His only ally is Kat, but she has secrets of her own.… (more)

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Angry Robot

2 editions of this book were published by Angry Robot.

Editions: 0857660497, 0857660500

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