|Submitted by Michael Grosberg |
(Jul 24, 2001)
Metropolitan is a high Fantasy story set in a fantasy world Transformed by Technology. The world is overpopulated and covered by what is virtually one world-spanning city, filled with 40's era technology and architecture. The Magic in the book is called Plasm. Plasm can be transferred, stored and relayed like electricity, but it allows a user to perform feats of Magic. Plasm originates from the relations between buildings, Much in the spirit of Feng-Shuy. Aiah, the Heroine, is a minor official stuck in a dead end job in the Plasm Authority. During a search for Plasm leaks Aiah finds a huge Plasm well, and decides that instead of reporting it to the authority she'll sell it herself. She contacts Constantine, an exiled military leader that she adores. Together, with the help of her Plasm find, they set out to start a revolution... The Book is not a heroic Fantasy. Williams Mixes Cyberpunk sensibilities, 40's tech and design, and high Magic in a unique way. If anything, his creation reminds me of the movie Brazil. The World building is the strong point of this novel. This is the first of a trilogy - The second book in the series is called "City On Fire" and The third hadn't been written yet. The plot of this first book doesn't satisfy as a standalone book. There are gods and other transcendent creations mentioned, but the plot itself revolves around relatively minor political issues. There are signs that things will change in the third book though. If you're interested in a fantasy political thriller that deal with the implications of power, read this and it's sequel. The Characters are very strong, and you can see Aiah grow during this book and the sequel. The morals of the characters have shades of gray all over them. To sum it all, I recommend this book. I liked it a lot but I'm not sure if it is for everybody's tastes.