I write, read and review, I blog frequently and love anything to do with books and writing, including editing. I am a Book Nerd and I wear that badge with pride. http://coffee2words.wordpress.com
Rail City: The Dying Sun sounded really intriguing when I read the synopsis. It grabs you and makes you believe that this book will be full of awesome. Unfortunately this is not the case.
John's writing was rather amazing. At times it was poetic in its descriptions and full of crystal clear imagery and at others completely mind-bogglingly vague. I have yet to see another author get it both so right and so wrong in the same book, in the same chapter and even in the same paragraph.
There was a lot of repetitive words (the windows were forever undressed) and at the beginning I thought I might die of overuse of similies and metaphors. Only two or three in each paragraph for the first chapter or so... just a few.
I loved the ideas in the story, the demonkind, the forced slavery, the 'breaking' it was very intriguing. I liked the magical elements to the demon nature and how they interacted with the people. It was both gut-wrenchingly horrible and yet thought-provoking too. I would love to see some art work based on these characters.
Hiromi was a complex character and one that I wanted to get to know more. I didn't really like Sura and I found the introduction to most of the other characters was too quick, a lot of prior knowledge seemed to be agiven. I did like the guy in the red kimono, except that he was forever being described as hawk-like which got repetitive and annoying.
Some of the scenes could do with a bit more structure, more grounding in location, as I felt sometimes that the story was being told and the scene could be interchangable. Also, some sort of timeframe would have helped to make the story seem a bit more real too, I wasn't sure how long days were, or nights, time seemed to be almost unimportant.
I may be a bit thick, but it took me until about 50% through the book to understand that they were on a giant train. I should have picked that up from the title and the cover, but on my kindle I don't see the cover. This only caused for my concept of where this was happening to be even further off. Perhaps a bit more of a clear introduction to 'Rail City' would have helped avoid this confusion.
An interesting story, but rather disjointed and confusing.