Book Review: The Only City Left, Book 1, science-fantasy, by Andy Goldman.
I find myself in the unique position of having followed the original serialised version of this story online weekly from its inception through to the end. The whole story. I found it to be a satisfying experience in many ways. Being able to chat with the author in the comment section and on twitter, sharing feedback as the story evolved, and enjoying the anticipation of awaiting the next installment.
When Andy decided to turn it into a novel, I was a little worried. My experience with movie productions of novels I loved, had made me wary. I trusted Andy’s artistic integrity, his resolve to make the story even better, followed his growing pains as he dove through revision after revision, and cheered when the finished novel was announced. I purchased a copy from Amazon and found that the typeface used was one that would strain my eyes to read. (For those of you who don’t know, I have Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy, a type of corneal dystophy in which the five layers of the cornea in the eye gradually separating leading to a kind of bright glaring blindness. At this time I am visually impaired to the point that all edges are five-fold or more, and reading text is difficult unless it is bolded. I rely mostly on audio books.) Letting Andy know my disappointment about this had gratifying results. He generously sent me a pdf copy of his book.
Still a little trepidacious, I began tentatively to journey once again with Allin Arkady up through the maze of rooms and corridors of The Only City Left.
To my mind the first chapter of this version of the story began slowly. This may have been due to my having read the original. I read the first chapter, put it down and tried to make comparisons to the online version while I worked on my latest watercolour. I didn’t want to re-read the original serialised version until I’d finished the novel. I read a few more chapters a couple of days later, and though there were changes in the story, they were seamless. A weekend of work intervened and then I committed to making time every morning to read at least a chapter. I liked the story. I liked the changes. I got so I hated to have to put the book down to do my own work. And finally, this morning I said to hell with it and stayed in bed and read the remainder.
It’s an excellent story! I can remember huge chunks of the story he cut out, but these parings only made the story better, tighter. Changes in direction, even in one important component of the main plot, which seemed like a loss to me, made sense to the whole of this part of the story. I do hope that the pieces he deftly removed will reemerge in further books in the series.
The novel made me laugh, hang by my fingernails, and cry, in spite of the fact that I already knew the basic story. The Only City Left is engaging and moving even as we come to the realisation that the Allin Arkady story is far from over yet. It’s a highly satisfying story. I’m looking forward to re-reading it and sharing it with others who enjoy this genre.
Genre: Science Fantasy
Publisher: Independent, self-published by Andy Goldman.
Genre: Science Fantasy.
Talking Cats, Werewolves and Ghosts, Oh My!
In the far future, the Earth still revolves around the sun, as the moon orbits the Earth. But moving closer, we see it is a strange Earth indeed. Individual cities have swallowed towns and moved like tectonic plates into one another until the world itself has become one global city where the light of the sun never reaches the starved, decaying soil of the planet itself.
Searching his way through this maze of a dying city world comes Allin Arkady, a young man who at the weary age of eighteen has nothing to live for but his sole obsession: to reach The Roof of the World and see the Sun with his own eyes, for the first time in his life.
Allin lights his own way through the dim and dangerous dark. His progress is constantly blocked and turned from his path, frustrated as much by the decaying City itself as by its tiny pockets of strange, warped and altered denizens. These barely eke out an existence therein. Some cling to a half-life of scavenging. Some have resorted to brutalising and enslaving others. Isolated neo-nomad groups and loners like Allin, move from from room to room, corridor to corridor and get along as best they can. And there is one community that thrives, creating their own city of light and industry within and between the skyscraping structures of the City World.
But Allin Arkady cares nothing for that as he hurls himself upward against all that would keep him from his goal. And someone, or some thing is trying to keep him from his goal. But who? And why?
You can get The Only City Left via the author’s affliate links (Here)
And you can follow the author of TOCL on Twitter as @lithicbee and on G+ as +Andy Goldman.