Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Domino Men

The Domino Men by Jonathan Barnes

Last year I read Jonathan Barnes's first book The Somnambulist and quite enjoyed it. It's an urban fantasy novel by an author that I thought at the time had a promising future. After reading The Domino Men I'm even more convinced that Barnes is an author who is very likely to leave his mark on the genre.

The Domino Men is a sequel, but a very independent one. In fact, I'm pretty sure many people read it, oblivious to the fact that it was preceded by The Somnambulist. I guess I should describe it as a second book, which takes place in the same version of our world as The Somnambulist does, rather than say it's a true sequel. 

Many years ago, the queen of England made a deal with an unworldly being known as Leviathan. Contained within that pact, was the fate of every citizen of England. Now, Leviathan has returned to collect. Our narrator is Henry Lamb, an unassuming civil servant working as a file clerk at the Civil Service Archive Unit. Henry learns one day that his grandfather has slipped into a coma. As Henry goes to visit him in the hospital he begins to learn that there was much more to his grandfather's life than he had ever imagined. He learns that he was instrumental in a secret war that has been waged for years against members of the royal house of Windsor ever since the Queen's contract with Leviathan.

The Domino Men is another one of those books that would take longer to describe than it would to read. It reminded me a little bit of some of China Mieville's books, to try to describe them doesn't do them justice.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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