Conflict between city-states is constant, superstition is rife, and machine relics, mutant creatures, and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land. Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Homes of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church claims. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out. Until now....
A prolific freelance author and journalist, Guy Haley is the author of Reality 36 and the Warhammer 40,000 novels Valedor and Baneblade, among others. He lives in Yorkshire with his wife and son.
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Von DarkChaplain Am hilfreichsten 18.01.2017
An eccentric blend of fantasy and science fiction
I've got to say, I absolutely loved the eccentric, down to earth first person narrative from the moment I read an excerpt a couple of months back. Abney's account of the events is wonderfully commentated, full of introspection and a tone that makes you feel like you are sitting right with him as his audience. At times stern and preachy, at others emotional, and whimsical at yet others, it drew me in and made me forget the world beyond my headphones.
And then there was Quinn, with his pair of swords and handgun at his hips. Enigmatic yet easy to like, the man made for a strong character to lead mother and son through the wilderness, giving commentary and explanations about the world they inhabit along the way. While many questions about him are left open by the end of the novella, I never felt like he was out of touch or too mysterious. Seeing his relationship with Abney develop throughout was delightful, and even a little sad.
I am honestly stoked to see him again in the sequel, The Ghoul King.
This is yet another example of Haley's worldbuilding skills, which I have long admired. Everything clicks together, while still leaving room for further exploration and instilling a sense of longing for more in the reader. There are so many things left to find out about this world, its inner workings and the nature of the angels. Guy Haley has created a rich environment that he will hopefully elaborate on through many more stories in the future.
The Emperor's Railroad is a wonderful blend of themes, and underlines the old saying that technology can feel indistinguishable from magic. The whole world design, the references to real places and musings about mankind's hubris, it all comes together to create something grander than the sum of its parts.