Sunday, May 25, 2014
Review: City of Tigers by Leif Chappelle
Having been abandoned by his father at a young age Sigurd is raised by his mother in the small town of Havlandsby. He is a projektor, capable of communing with the elements and gaining extroidanry powers, in his case focused on music. When she passes away the still young Sigurd decides to join the growing exodus to the great city of Tigrebyn. After initially living as a street urchin, he later falls in with Ragna a projektor herself who has taken it upon herself to keep the remaining projecktor's safe. He then in turn decides to leave her and lives with siblings Hemming and Kai who have recently been abaondoned their own mother. Years pass and Sigurd, whose powers have now grown, makes a living by performing one man orchestra on street corners. Prokektor's role in society has rapidly been replaced by machina and the University at the forefront of their creation seek out Sigurd to create even more powerful machina, by any means necessary. Meanwhile an unexplained fire occurs killing several people but is the culprit a faulty machina or a rouge projecktor?
The crux of the book is the age old clash of magic and technology. While some parts of Chappelle's take on this are well explored, the origin of the projektor's powers in this case, others are not, such as machina in general. This unevenness permeates throughout most facets of the novel. No attempt is made to explain why projektors are suddenly outcasts all of a sudden despite playing a pivotal role in society until quite recently. This was the main point of conflict in the story so needed to be explored.
The writing for the most part is tidy but there are times when it does come across as stilted, particularity in areas of dialogue. The difference between Sigurd's younger and older point of views were well distinguished.
Most chapter titles contain a reference to some coming event, such as "three days before the fire." This created a strong sense of foreboding and was a clever tool.
Overall despite having a great deal of potential this novel is badly let down by an unevenness in writing, plot control and world-building. 6/10.