review: ‘The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters’ by Gordon Dahlquist

3 stars

This book is the reason it has taken me so long to get back into writing reviews. On so many levels this book was a mammoth task to finish for me, and I realised once I finished it that I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about it. There was a lot of relief involved, and whilst I enjoyed the story, I felt like many hours had gone into reading this, and I don’t think I got all that much out of it.

At 753 pages, this is already a long book. The pages of my edition were very thin, and there were a LOT of words on each page. It could easily have been closer to a thousand page book if the font were bigger and the text was more spaced out. Also, there were only 10 chapters, so they were long… Can you tell it was actually pretty exhausting for me reading this? Damn me and my inability to leave a book unfinished!

So, despite my initial moaning, the premise of this book was really original and intriguing, and I enjoyed all 3 main characters and their alternating points of view. It is marketed as having adventure, eroticism, and mystery, all wrapped up in a sort of steampunk parcel. And I felt it had all of these elements, just not necessarily all the way through. It’s very hard to describe this book without giving a lot away. This is the simplest I can get it – Set around the Victorian era, this story focuses on this covert collective of pretty prestigious people who are all someway involved in a type of revolutionary science, in which peoples memories and experiences can be absorbed and shared. (On second thoughts, this might be spoilery, but I really can’t do any better!). The three characters whose viewpoint we read from are not part of the collective, and for all intents and purposes are against this science and process that they don’t entirely understand, but for whatever reason, get swept up in this underworld.

In reflection – not that much actually happened in this novel, which seems crazy. The entirety of events that occur, from what I can understand, happen in less than a week. The book is very detailed, and as it’s written in three different viewpoints, we are often told of the same event from three different peoples eyes. This could often be tedious, as any new information we might learn from these different viewpoints, weren’t really that revelatory, and they further hindered the pace of an already slow read. There are also several settings in this novel, most of which are very grand, such as fancy hotels and elaborate stately mansions, which are also explained in great detail. I hate to say it, but at times, I was bored.

I still gave this book three stars, because despite thinking this novel could of been half the length (and better for it), I generally enjoyed the story, and the characters were very well developed and diverse, with interesting back stories. I’m not sure I will be picking up the sequel any time soon, even though the ending was left pretty wide open for further exploration, but I appreciate the work that has gone into this novel.

Thanks for reading!

sign off heartJess

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