To be totally honest, this book had me pretty confused. I don’t really know what happened or why, or even when the book is meant to be set. Just about the only things I understood were the location and who the main characters were (although I still don’t fully understand what the Bundists are). Because of that, writing my own synopsis is kind of impossible, so here’s the one from Goodreads:
Humanity has been split into three different species. Mutual incomprehension has fractured the globe. As humans race to be the first of their kind to reach the stars, another Great War looms.
For you that means returning to Yorkshire and the town of your birth, where factories churn out the parts for gigantic spaceships. You’re done with the pretentions of the capital and its unfathomable architecture. You’re done with the people of the Bund, their easy superiority and unstoppable spread throughout the city of London and beyond. You’re done with Georgy Chernoy and his questionable defeat of death. You’re done with his daughter, Fel, and losing all the time. You’re done with love.
But soon enough you will find yourself in the Smoke again, drawn back to the life you thought you’d left behind.
You’re done with love. But love’s not done with you.
Some sections of this book are written in the second person, which is unusual and I really liked it. However, I think this contributed in a big way to my lack of comprehension. It made the book harder to follow and I really struggled to stay focussed while reading.
I did enjoy the parts I was able to understand. The Smoke contains some really interesting and dark concepts, which I absolutely loved. It’s super intriguing with very complex themes. I would say it is worth a read, but requires levels of concentration that I did not give it to fully enjoy.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.