Release date: June 11, 2019 by Harper Voyager. Gorgeous cover alert!
Largo is a bicycle messenger who delivers parcels to people all over the city, whether they are in the slums or live in a wealthy area. His girlfriend, Remy, is a performer in a theater called The Grand Dark. Largo and Remy hang out with artistic people at parties, do drugs, make love, live hard and fast like the youth.
The setting is a post-war dystopian steampunk world that I believe is based off Germany and/or Russia? There are automatons, some people have prosthetic mechanical limbs, there are chimeras, and psychic mediums.
I respect that the author tried for something very different here compared to the Sandman Slim and Coop heist books. This one is more serious and not as madcap and witty. This is my third Kadrey book, and I am a newbie Sandman fan (only read the first). This is a dark, repressed, fearful world where any misstep can get you in trouble with the police or the secret police.
Largo is an unwitting participant in almost all areas of his life. He is a nice guy, but gets taken advantage of. He ends up getting involved in several different groups. I really liked the characters of Anita, who plays a rebellious artist/dancer/performer and Rainer, Largo’s disfigured soldier friend.
I’ll be honest, while I enjoyed this, I felt it took a bit long to get to the meat (action) of the story. There is a significant amount of drug use in this story, which, considering the depressed and bullied society, it makes sense. Largo does grow a lot and overcome many obstacles. Sometimes, I just felt so sorry for the guy because he couldn’t catch a break. But, he does stop being a doormat!
Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for providing a digital eARC to read and review.