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Gilman, Felix.
Adult Fiction GILMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Scattershot plotting and puzzling theology notwithstanding, there's much to like in Gilman's first novel, fantasy set in the ever-shifting city of Ararat. Once a gifted composer in the distant city of Gad, Arjun has come to Ararat seeking the intangible Voice. Instead, he finds a city filled with other gods, streets that resist being mapped and citizens touched in varying ways by the passing of the mysterious Bird. Gilman's literary antecedents are intriguingly diverse. Ararat itself fuses elements of Renaissance Venice and Victor Hugo's Paris. Arjun's search leads at times into gaslight-era SF a la Jules Verne, at others into distinctly Poe-like horror, while a secondary plot transforms street youth Jack into a hybrid of Peter Pan and Dickens's Artful Dodger. Impressively, the whole remains essentially coherent, though just how and why Ararat's gods behave as they do is unclear, and parts of the convoluted climax rely too heavily on underexplained aspects of the city's nature. Nonetheless, strongly conveyed atmosphere and intriguing characters make this a distinctive debut. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

As predicted, the godlike being known as the Great Bird soars across the sprawling city of Ararat, changing the land's topography and recarving avian territories. A young boy, Jack, races across the rooftops to catch part of the Bird's power-succeeding in unexpected ways. The Countess of Ararat supervises a ritual to trap the Bird's energy in her floating warship, the Thunderer, commanded by the idolized Captain Arlandes. From the faraway town of Gad, a failed singer named Arjun comes to find the Voice, a missing deity, and instead awakens another force strong enough to destroy the most powerful city in the world. Gilman's first novel, most likely the beginning of a series, creates powerful images of a city as complex as Dickens's London; citizens' dreams and nightmares blend in complex patterns that hint at secrets buried deep within the city's heart. Most libraries should consider adding this tale of broken gods and damaged heroes to their fantasy collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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