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Worldsoul [Kindle Edition]

Liz Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Worldsoul, a great city that forms a nexus point between Earth and the many dimensions known as the Liminality, is a place where old stories gather, where forgotten legends come to fade and die—or to flourish and rise again.

Until recently, Worldsoul has been governed by the Skein, but they have gone missing and no one knows why. Now the city is also being attacked with lethal flower-bombs from an unknown enemy. Mercy Fane and her fellow Librarians are doing their best to maintain the Library, but . . . things . . . keep breaking out of ancient texts and legends and escaping into the city. Mercy must pursue one such nightmarish creature—and so she turns to Shadow the alchemist for aid, with the fate of the Library and Worldsoul itself hanging in the balance . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Prime Books (16 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008451QHO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #410,756 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what an adventure? Amazing. 21 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really really exciting read, I've had colleagues look askance at me whilst covertly reading Liz's work. Fortunately the iphone reader is small, a desk is large & the electronics CAD package I'm meant to be using looks dreadfully complicated to your average optics physicist colleague.
Great work and a joy to read. Thanks to the lovely lady for more super stories.
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2 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Soul - No sense. 28 Jan 2013
Sometimes it is worth taking some time to consider what it is that makes much popular writing so very bad these days. An answer is not easy to find as these days as the book marketing process is so insistent it obscures the actual words on the page. Common sense tells us that `Fifty Shades of Grey' is tedious twaddle. J.K. Rowling has demonstrated once and for all, by putting out her `serious' novel, that she can't write for toffee.
`Worldsoul' by Liz Williams resides in the sub-literary world of Science Fiction - a genre that, after being briefly redeemed in the 1970s, has slipped back into the abyss. It will certainly not regain any credibility while it includes authors like this. Fans of Lionel Fanthorpe can reconcile themselves in knowing that his 50s pulp novels read like Shakespeare's sonnets compared to this stuff.
An interview with Ms. Williams (SFF Chronicles 2006) reveals that she writes two thousand words a day. Does she do it while waiting at the fish counter in Tesco's, or having her nails done? Wading through the clunky dialogue and the confusing, opaque narrative does not give the reader many clues as to what `Worldsoul' is actually about. Phrases, presumably intended to be impressive, are about as profound as a wheelie bin.
Williams has as many wacky ideas per minute as the average stoner, but she cannot express them in clear or concise English. She uses words arbitrarily, and often incorrectly, as if they were tortillas being fished out of a salsa dip. What is most alarming is that the author seems so smug and pleased with herself in creating this farrago of nonsense.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little closer to UF than to the superb SF of the author, but an entertaing tale 5 Jun 2012
By Liviu C. Suciu - Published on
After quite high expectations, I have to say that Worldsoul turned to be a little mixed for me as the novel aligned closer to the UF subgenre than to the SF that remains by far the most interesting of the author's oeuvre to date. It is true that the novel is not quite the usual UF junk as it takes place in a "higher dimension" from Earth, but Earth's cultures, myths, supernatural beings of lore, books and tales are crucial for all that happens.

Worldsoul has great inventiveness and the writing style is the compelling one I have been expecting from Liz Williams with interesting main characters, and action happening in the higher dimensional city Worldsoul of the title, metropolis which is in a bit of disarray as its former rulers vanished a while ago and the various powers to be have started the struggle for domination.

Mercy is a somewhat naive but dogged librarian - though of course not of a mundane library - from a Northern tundra clan lineage whose two mothers have left on a quest to find the disappeared rulers - Worldsoul is a Liz Williams book so expect men to have minimal roles if they are not dispensed with as in her superb Solar System novels like Banner of Souls or Winterstrike - while Shadow is a devout alchemist from a Middle Eastern inspired culture who is compelled by the local power broker, a male Shah, to do some work for him that her ethics code finds distasteful.

A few demons including a duke of Hell - still female - who is the best and funniest secondary character, Disir i.e. Loki's supernatural minions, and assorted supernatural beings play the humans and one another and are occasionally played in turn while the novel moves at a brisk pace and ends at quite a satisfying point solving its main local stories though of course the big picture is just coming into focus as the ending emphatically punctuates that.

Where my reservations lie is in that the whole UF setup is a bit hard to take seriously and the external world lacks focus with the Worldsoul itself more of an abstraction or a stage if you want for our characters than a "real place" with texture and depth.

On many occasions scenes that are supposed to have tension simply lacked it for me as I had no idea what the parameters were (and no idea if the book follows standard UF ones as I heartily detest the subgenre) so the various fights, chases etc read: "well this happened because it happened" with no way for me to realize if it was normal, an act of valor or something unusual.

I would compare my experience in those parts of the novel as with reading about a Wild West gunfight without having any ideas what guns can or cannot do - pretty much everything described can happen as the fact that the sheriff is faster on the draw may simply be so because his gun is a "lawful" one so it comes out faster, the fact that he shoots straight and the villain shoots badly maybe because his gun is an AI that targets himself etc and if the author inserts that the sheriff's gun shot 500 times in succession without recharge, it may seem a little odd but hey, it may be possible after all...

Overall, I think that if you are a UF buff you may love Worldsoul a lot, while personally I found it entertaining and I would definitely recommend it. Not as grand as the author's excellent sf, but I am still looking forward to see what comes next in the series!

Note: This review has originally been posted on Fantasy Book Critic and all links and references are to be found there
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written new world 12 Jan 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read Liz William's other books, especially enjoying the Inspector Chen series, and found her always to be an author with a great imagination that takes us to the most interesting places. Worldsoul gives us a new set of worlds, featuring a bold warrior librarian who goes on various adventures in other dimensions defending the library. I gave it four stars rather than five because I did not find it as intricate or compelling as some of the other books, though it was a very good read and I will purchase whatever sequel she writes as soon as it appears.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different View of Librarians 13 May 2014
By Claire - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel very much. Although I didn't like it quite as much as Ms. Williams' Singapore Three series, it is still very good with gorgeous descriptions and a lively, complex plot. Although it draws from many myths and legends, it is original, not derivative, and it can be read multiple times. (Always one of my criteria for a favorite.)
I definitely recommend it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polycultural urban fantasy 5 Jan 2013
By Cissa - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I tend to love Liz William's writing, and this was not an exception.

I liked that she basically dumped us readers into a completely new world and context with minimal explanation, so we had to read and scrabble to figure out what was going on, and who was doing it. Most authors don't do this, and I like it a lot more than being spoon-fed the context; Williams does this very well, as does Melissa Scott.

The world is polycultural, with explicit Nordic and Middle Eastern elements- and others that are referred to but that do not play as much of a role in the plot.

Most of the main characters are female; that's rather a refreshing change, since in most urban fantasy, even when the protag is female pretty much everyone else is male.

The plot was complex and relies a lot on the reader's piecing things together. I thought it worked well.

I very much enjoy a book where I need to learn the world as well as the rest of the plot and characters, and this was a very enjoyable read, though maybe not for everyone.
4.0 out of 5 stars A different world 13 Nov 2013
By L. Johnson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have yet to be disppointed in a Liz Williams book. I loved her Detective Inspector Chen series, but this novel takes us to a new, alien yet familiar world. While some of the characters are not as fully fleshed out as they could be, I'm hoping we'll have more stories in this series to do that. This one blends elements of fantasy, myth, religion and science fiction in new and refreshing ways.
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