The Smoke by Simon Ings

Humanity has been split into three different species. Mutual incomprehension has fractured the globe. As humans race to be the first of their kind to reach the stars, another Great War looms.

For you that means returning to Yorkshire and the town of your birth, where factories churn out the parts for gigantic spaceships. You’re done with the pretentions of the capital and its unfathomable architecture. You’re done with the people of the Bund, their easy superiority and unstoppable spread throughout the city of London and beyond. You’re done with Georgy Chernoy and his questionable defeat of death. You’re done with his daughter, Fel, and losing all the time. You’re done with love.

But soon enough you will find yourself in the Smoke again, drawn back to the life you thought you’d left behind.

You’re done with love. But love’s not done with you.

The Smoke crept in through my eyes and settled under my skin, setting up an itch each time I put the book down, the only scratch that soothed it was picking it up and losing myself in this strangely different earth.

There was a problem though, for me The Smoke was not a book I could read while tired, Simon Ings’ text is richly descriptive, beautiful and compelling but each evening as I lay in bed with my eyes devouring the text, I found myself reading and rereading pages because my weary mind was having difficulty absorbing the story.

So I made a decision to read The Smoke during the day in my lunch hours and during library lessons where I encouraged students to pick a book and read it. Selflessly I read The Smoke to show them how easy it is to sink into an amazing book! How quickly those moments fled when I was immersed in the world that Simon had created, I grew to dread the sound of the school bell ringing signalling the end of my break or the end of a lesson, but I persevered and managed to spend time in this compelling, strange new world and do my job.

The Smoke is a book to take your time with, it’s story will reward you if you do not rush through it!

The Smoke is the kind Science Fiction I love and look out for when I have the time.

The Smoke, written by Simon Ings and published by Orbit Books is out now! I think you should buy it or request it from your local library!

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