Thursday, 17 February 2011

Half a World Away

Managed to get my hands on a copy of Rod Rees's new novel The Demi Monde: Winter. Read it, loved it, told my mates and went hunting for more - it'll be a year until the next volume is out and my hunger must be sated.

There's the website (natch) and the author's blog and a couple of other 'can't-wait' ers who've also been trawling, so if you're one of them ( one of 'us'... no... " of the Kept..." geddit?) post me a comment and/or we can follow each other's progress blog-to-blog.

There's loads of, what look like, clues to the overarching universe it's set in, but I've lately taken to keeping tabs on the reviews (particularly over at Amazon - oh, oh just spotted some new ones while I was grabbing that link! Now if I can just... finish... this blog...). Here are some of my faves:

"Part Matrix, part Escape from New York, with a dash of Film Noir and a whole host of imagination."

"Despite the contrived concept, Rees makes the book work: the world he's created is a psychopathic nightmare, while Ella, by contrast, is a touchingly vulnerable heroine whose quest is fraught with both physical and psychological dangers."

"Complete nonsense, of course, but incredibly entertaining."
Kate Saunders The Times Saturday Review (can only find this on the Demi-Monde's own blog)

"What a fabulous book… The Demi-Monde is an unstoppable, deadly serious computer game, a replica of the real world where players experience lethal role-playing and war-gaming… An outsider is thrown into this mix and somehow has to stop the evil escaping from the confines of the game... Devote some quality time to reading `Winter' and you'll be rewarded with a captivating new world, one of smoke and mirrors which closely resembles our own - but don't expect things to turn out quite as you know them."
Rowena Hoseason (Via Amazon)

"Occult Stalinist Nazi Vampires.... ... plan war against Lesbian Supremacists."
P.G. Harris (Via Amazon)

"It is the first book in a series of four which I did find a little irritating."
a hopeful reader (Via Amazon)

My favourite is "Occult Stalinist Nazi Vampires.... ... plan war against Lesbian Supremacists." - if that doesn't make you want to read the book it's reviewing I don't know what will!

On balance though, taking every review into account, the general consensus is… undecided (albeit with a healthy 4-5 stars average over at Amazon). No one's taking it lying down though. It's Marmite for the soul, is this one.

There are the evangelists (of whom I am one) and the detractors (of whom there are some), but I can't think of anyone who's not bothered either way (although "a hopeful reader" does seem to think it'll all turn out to be as big a waste of time as "The Lord of the Rings" or "Harry Potter" or one of those other tiresome stories that just can't seem to limit themselves to one volume).

On Team Boo I've read at least one review by someone who could just possibly be the biggest arse since Keyra Agustina, while on Team Yay there's only really Tex who's cottoned on to the depth of Rees's concept. Having mooched about on the web I've found a short story set in the same universe and loads of extra stuff on the demi-monde website (also the DC universe stuff, but that seems to have been removed).

Note: I've not included a link to the short story or the DC website. Can't do everything for you.

As soon as I can get a minute I'm going to give it a second read, I suspect it''ll yield a bit more every time, so I'll post anything I notice this time that I didn't notice last time and see if you got there first. 

Let me know how you get on.


  1. Trying to find time for a second reading myself. thanks for the mention and pointing me to

    Hoping to post a few more thoughts on Maykov when I get some spare minutes... too much happening at the moment! When did 2011 finally get here.!!


  2. Cheers, fella. Been a bit under the weather just lately, but aim to be back on the case this week. I'll check back over at yours later to see what you make of the wildstacks incident.