Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian Fantasy
Now, to be fair, let’s be upfront about two things:
1) Books with multiple Points of View are pretty hard to pull off, and I wasn’t expecting it, which led me to worry at first. I don’t like not having a heads up about the POV thing. But I kept reading, and it was awesome. Every person we follow has a unique perspective, and a different important part of the story. And each POV enriches the story in a way a single POV can sometimes lack.
2) Stories about Biblical Apocalysey doom are one of my favorites, when done tastefully. And by tastefully, I mean has to not pull any punches with showing Revelations
We follow Calum, a fallen priest, who’s incurred God’s wrath for an unpardonable sin. A man who is gripped by his shortcomings and trying desperately to stop the apocalypse, which he believes is his fault.
Ambrose, a demon struggling to overcome his nature and be a better person for the one he loves.
Malachi, a man who’s given up everything to revenge.
Clive, a regular guy who loves Ambrose, and will do anything to save him.
And Inspector Gemmell, a detective who’s trying to figure out why Glasgow is going to hell in a handbasket.
Everyone’s stories weaves in and out, connecting in ways that I found pleasantly surprising and intriguing. I love it when a story manages to outthink me, and keep one step ahead. Usually I can figure out a plot halfway through. This wasn’t the case.
Although the first chapter had me tapping my foot and going “Get on with it!” (Oh, Monty Python, forever stuck in my brain), the book took off right after that. Filled with rapidfire action sequences, the pacing is quite fast, and there isn’t a lot of breathing space. Still, we ride along with everyone as they struggle to do what they can, even as the world is coming to an end. We become immured in everyone’s problems, and everyone has enough time for us to understand how and why they do things.
Probably the best thing about this book is the very human moments within it. Whenever there’s a great tragedy, we sometimes tend to look at the big event and not see the human faces attached. By following each of these people, there are faces, lives, and stories to go along with the end of the world. And you want all of them to succeed, even though you know it can’t be possible.
My favourite human moment: Gemmell is trying to rally a group of people in a church, and one starts hysterically giggling. He has the man slapped to regain composure. Yes, slapped. In the middle of the Apocalypse.
If you like Supernatural, or any sort of fantasy similar to the TV series, this book is for you. And if you think it might be for you, it’s for you. I guarantee you won’t want to put it down.
Thy Fearful Symmetry can be found at: