Book Review – Dream London by Tony Ballantyne

Dream London
by Tony Ballantyne
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Solaris Books

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Thanks to author/editor Tim Marquitz, I have recently become a huge fan of Urban Fantasy. In case you don’t recall, Tim was the editor of Angelic Knight Press’s book MANIFESTO UF (you can read my review here). I had read UF before, but I didn’t really fall in love with it until the publication of Tim’s book. This is partly what drew me to DREAM LONDON, the latest release of author Tony Ballantyne. And I’m sure glad it did; this book is chocked full of quirky characters and amazing landscapes, a true cult classic in the making.

If you are not familiar with DREAM LONDON, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Solaris Books:

In Dream London the city changes a little every night and the people change a little every day. Captain Jim Wedderburn has looks, style and courage by the bucketful. He’s adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. He’s the man to find out who has twisted London into this strange new world, and he knows it. But the towers are growing taller, the parks have hidden themselves away and the streets form themselves into strange new patterns. There are people sailing in from new lands down the river, new criminals emerging in the East End and a path spiraling down to another world. Everyone is changing, no one is who they seem to be, and Captain Jim Wedderburn is beginning to understand that he’s not the man he thought he was…

I didn’t really know what to expect before I started reading this one. I had a vague synopsis, but it did nothing to prepare me for what was to come. This book took me by surprise, and that is certainly not a bad thing.

DREAM LONDON is written well, with smooth prose and flowing dialogue. I particularly enjoy how it is written in a first-person perspective. It is this, as well as Ballantyne’s frequent use of dialogue to move the story along that I like most about his writing. He does not overdo descriptive narratives but instead lets his characters convey the pertinent information the reader needs.

But the other true winner of DREAM LONDON is the story itself. Vast in scope and perfect in its execution, this book will mesmerize readers from the first page. I was sad to see the book end, however I could certainly see myself revisiting its pages in the future.

The world that Ballantyne creates is fantastic but very believable. And the concept behind his world creation is nothing short of brilliant. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a book quite like this one.

DREAM LONDON is a major win from a major talent. I have not read any of Tony’s other works, but I will certainly do so now. This book is available now in a variety of formats so give it a look.

MSB

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