June 21, 2012 Night’s Engines Review
Jamieson has a way of keeping a steady, continuous mood, that though only ranges in the varying degrees of misery is never tiring. I can never get enough of it. Apparently, I’m a reading masochist and Jamieson knows just how I like it.
I sank back into the Night Land series as if I’d never left it. Things had changed while I’d ben gone and Jamieson made that passing of time so realistic. I felt it, like when you return home after a time away and there’s that staleness in the air. He makes you feel that.
I also felt the hope flittering away in just the opening scenes of the novel. But just as it was with the first installment, I was locked in with the need to see how it all ended.
We return to David who is obviously in the throes of a transformation that is equal parts terrifying and awesome. It matches the transformation of the world around him, a taking over by something that can barely be affected. The novel is a race (like the first one, but more so) as David and his companion Maragaret (the driving, rational force behind the mission) make their blood-stained, ragged way to Tearwin Meet, to the Engine of the World for what they hope will be the world’s salvation.
As with the first book, Jamieson pieces together the narrative with glances from several different POVs. I never liked this writing technique in a book until this duology. It’s used in a terrific manner and I can’t imagine the novels otherwise. The settings are as beautiful and horrible as before. I love the details that Jamieson uses and he knows just how much to use and where.
What is so mystifying about this novel is that it’s not just an excellent read, and it is most definitely that. But not only is written with a skill and carefulness that leaves one riveted, it’s an also a rendering of people that is an apt examination of how people are as a whole and of how one person can have such a diverse nature. In the characters in this book we a see a range of people who sometimes you can’t just call good or bad.
Take Mother Graine for example (we could use David, of course, but he’s obvious). Mother Graine in my mind went from enemy to ally and then to neither. She simply was acting out of the love and dedication she had not only for the Drift, but her sisters and Cadell and her charges. She was as complex as the main characters of the story and that kind of attention wins me over quickly, though I’m already a strong advocate for this dulology.
Along with this admirable characterization, Jamieson also gives what could be a cursory nod to the LGBT community in the glancing over Margaret’s possibly being a lesbian. He speaks of it without fuss, without undue attention and I love it. It’s not a big deal and he doesn’t present it as much.
Night’s Engines was a fitting end to this duology. I couldn’t have asked for more. It very easily placed itself amongst my favorite books ever. It’s that damn good. And I’m sad that it’s over. This is definitely going to be the case of a series to re-read.
To learn more about Trent Jamieson and his wonderfully dark books check his site here.