Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

City Of Dreams City Of Dreams & Nightmares
by Ian Whates
Angry Robot

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

City of Dreams & Nightmares is Ian Whates first novel, but not his first published work as he does have a collection of short fiction to his name.

City of Dreams & Nightmares inhabits an urban fantasy world that has leapt fully formed from the pen (or computer) of Mr Whates. The story is set in a city that is one hundred tiers or rows high, with social gradation by row with the under-classes (those who have yet to make it into the city proper) living in at row zero.

I liked the cityscape created and its range of denizens with their disputes and social structures, the hierarchies and freshness of the setting. The city was not a London or New York rebuilt, it was somewhere new.

My only complaint was that at some point Mr Whates felt a need to tie up loose ends, which for this reviewer weakened the story and may have hobbled the upcoming sequel. With that small grouch to one side, City of Dreams & Nightmares is a compelling read that I was sorry to see end. I liked the characters, who were by turns moral and amoral as it suited them, and the world they lived in. I shall be keeping an eye out for the sequel City of Hope & Despair when it is published.

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