Europe at Midnight (2015) by Dave Hutchinson

“I still wasn’t sure whether England was in Europe or not; I had the impression that the English would have quite liked to be in Europe so long as they were running it, but weren’t particularly bothered otherwise.” (Loc 4053)

 

51lf7hhe8gl-_sx321_bo1204203200_This is the second book in the Fractured Europe series. The first book, Europe in Autumn, is a terrific read. I was led to it by blogger friends; one of the great things about the book blogosphere. It reads like a cold war spy thriller set in a near-future Europe filled with weapons that could’ve dropped out of a William Gibson Sprawl story. It’s also a very smart book that is peppered with moments of dry humor as well as containing some wonderful descriptions of food.

Europe at Midnight is not a direct sequel to Autumn; it can be read as a standalone story. But if you have read the first Europe book, Midnight will expand your understanding of it. It will also provide background to some of the events and places mentioned in Autumn. This was a bold move by Hutchinson, as he could easily have written a second book that picked up where the first one left off, continuing the adventures of Rudi the chef. Instead, he has opted for originality by broadening his fragmented Europe universe and bringing in new characters. Continue reading

Additions to the Tbr Pile 

Happy New Year to everyone! Here’s to another year of reading and (hopefully) blogging.

I enjoyed a great trip back to Manchester, England to visit my dad. The return journey to Japan took longer than expected due to delayed flights and a rather surreal transit in Beijing airport. But I made it home with bags and senses in one piece. Just.

I tried my hardest NOT to buy more books over in the UK but as you can see from the picture above, I failed. Only four, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. At least I didn’t have to post any over this time. Continue reading

Europe in Autumn (2014) by Dave Hutchinson

He heard glass crunch, behind him. He turned and saw a dark figure detach itself from the shadows of the doorway opposite. By the light from his phone he saw that it was wearing tight-fitting clothing and carrying what appeared to be a pistol with a very long barrel.


I hadn’t heard of the author Dave Hutchinson before this book. He describes himself on his blog as
“A journalist, once upon a time. A science fiction writer, occasionally. Will write for food. Or even the odd kind word.” [Link to his homepage.]

Art by Clint Langley

Fortunately for me, Europe in Autumn was recommended by some fellow bloggers who had been singing its praises on their ‘Best Books of 2014’ posts. It’s a great story full of some brilliant ideas and well-realised characters. It reads a bit like a cold-war spy thriller which has had some of its technology amped up to an innovative level. The atmosphere is one of intrigue and espionage, trust and betrayal, and its setting is a fragmented, near-future Europe split by ever-increasing numbers of borders. It tells Rudi’s story.

Continue reading