Interminable adjective. 1. Incapable of being terminated; unending 2. Monotonously or annoying protracted or continued; unceasing; incessant 3. Having no limits. (dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 22, 2016 from dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/interminable)
The Interminables takes place in a world where magic is real and so are nightmares. Prior to the events in this tale, an immortal being attacked all the cities on Earth and essentially destroyed civilization as we know it. She was killed but for an extreme, unspecified magical cost. Now, the scars left by this insane immortal dot the world and leak magic like radiation, producing strange items and twisted, dangerous creatures. The Hour Thief, Edmund, and his best friend, an archtypical ghost of World War I named Istvan, struggle to bring order and heal those injured by the remains of this struggle. Behind the scenes, an even greater evil begins to stir…
The Interminables is a type of science fiction/fantasy that I love. It doesn’t dwell too much on the how’s of the situation, but jumps head first to the what’s, who’s, and why’s of the story. And, this is an incredibly ambitious world in the sense that not only are the characters dealing with untamed and uncontrollable magic, but also the dimensions of alternate worlds have collided and merged with our own. So, there are beings and powers in this place that are far beyond anything that exists in the real world. It’s an exciting premise and the reader can almost feel the storytelling potential exploding from the very first page.
The Hour Thief is not only immortal, capable of teleportation, and able to move with super human speed through time- he’s also a librarian! : “…the Hour Thief was finally returning to real field duty, after fourteen months missing and then years of sticking to nothing more than librarian work and his usual mysterious excursions by night.” My favorite kind of super hero.
Who is the Hour Thief? : “He was, for all intents and purposes, a conman who dealt in stolen moments. The hours that slipped away when no one was watching. Lives, plain and simple. He’d been thirty-five for seventy years and he could say that only because none of the time he’d lived since 1954 was originally his.”
I loved how Orwin described two beings, who are essentially immortal, dealing with technology. : “Edmund… fished the device responsible out of his other jacket pocket. It was roughly the same size and shape as a pack of cards and combined the services of a clock, a calculator, a telephone, a radio, a camera, a film projector, a phonograph, a library, a dedicated staff of field researchers, an electric facsimile of the Delphic oracle, and a flashlight, but it was easier to call it a telephone.” When put that way, our devices really do seem to be magical.
Istvan, sends a text message, and it comes out more like a telegraph: “Istvan fiddled with the phone a moment longer… “I’ve sent a message to the Magister, I think, but I’m not certain it went through.”… Edmund glanced at it. Recovered, it said, on our way presently stop.”
My favorite moment in the whole book, an interchange between Edmund and Istvan : Edmund set the ritual knife down. “Are we always this interesting?” Istvan knelt and retrieved his own blade, wiping it on the hem of his uniform before handing it to him. He was a doctor. It would be all right. “Oh yes.”
In the acknowledgments, Orwin says, “The original project grew out of a desire to preserve some of the characters developed by myself and my friends in the MMORPG City of Heroes…” I also played that game! The ability to customize and create your hero was so much fun, but the game itself became repetitive very quickly. Orwin did such a great job taking a one dimensional idea and giving it a time piece, wings, and a limitless world to explore. The Interminables is a lot of fun and not interminable to read, at all.
If you’re looking for read alikes, I’d recommend Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero by Dan Abnett, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore (graphic novel), or Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (young adult title).
Expected publication date: July 5, 2016. A big thank you to NetGalley & Angry Robot Publishing for the opportunity to read and review a digital copy of this book. And, thank you, for reading!