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The Demi-Monde: Spring: Book II of the Demi-Monde Paperback – 5 Jan 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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  • The Demi-Monde: Spring: Book II of the Demi-Monde
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  • The Demi-Monde: Summer: Book III of The Demi-Monde
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  • The Demi-Monde: Fall
Total price: £33.97
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849165033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849165037
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,255,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'as labyrinthine and darkly witty as its predecessor ... Rees's abundant imagination and punning, neologism-strewn prose carries it off with aplomb' Daily Mail. (Daily Mail) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Welcome to the Demi-Monde: a computer-created steampunk horror-pit of a virtual world, ruled by history's choicest psychos! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(No plot spoilers here, but a couple of jokes passed on.) Let's get the important stuff out of the way first. This is a hugely entertaining, intelligent and erudite blast of fun. The first volume (Winter) was ordered as part of my Christmas reading bundle. Ten minutes after finishing it I ordered Spring: it arrived yesterday and was finished yesterday, and it's not often I do this with a 500+ page book. I've now ordered Summer (and if Amazon and the Royal Mail come through will have read this before the new year).

Other reviewers here are right to point out that by itself Spring would not make much (any?) sense, but then Winter ends on a cliff-hanger, and I would be surprised were anyone to get to the end of Winter and not want to continue. Rees has gloriously merged steam-punk with quantum computer virtual reality, allowing him to play with technology (with words - the steam-punk equivalent of a military 'fly-by'? A 'puff-past'. And if that doesn't make you laugh then this may not be for you) and with concepts. By creating a quantum computer virtual reality designed ostensibly for military purposes but perverted to much darker ends, Rees is able to populate this with pretty much anyone he wants - thus in Spring we encounter (as it were, through a glass darkly) Torquemada, Casanova, Machiavelli, Robespierre, and de Sade to name but a few. A good cultural knowledge helps here, but is not indispensable. This could all be a horrible mess were the internal logic not tight and consistent, and were the 'real' characters plunged into the world, and the original 'unreal' protagonists, not so interesting and well fleshed out.
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By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are some series where you can kick off with the second or third episode and not have missed too much. The Demi-Monde is not one of those series.
It is a wittily dense and coherent alternative reality - well, two alternative realities in fact - which tie together historical characters, invented creations, subverted legends, politics, philosophy and egonomics in an endless series of steampunk newspeak wordplay and bad puns. If you try to get your head around Spring without first reading Winter, then I imagine you'll find it a fairly unrewarding experience. It's a long book too, packed with clever concepts and a tangle of interwoven plots at the core of which lies the urNazi ForthRight's evil attempt to take over both a virtual world and the real one, by supressing the computer-contained Demi-Monde and manipulating external events.

The original players from Winter stay central to the plot although they undergo some dramatic changes, as the action switches to the Quartier Chaud, an amalgamation of Mediterranean nations including the French and Venetians, all aswirl in giddy sensuality, liberated in most desires - the majority carnal - but about to come under the heel of Forthright oppression.
Rod Rees writes in an easy-going, accessible fashion which helps the short chapters to fly by. Each chapter includes a chunk of background info and there's a very handy glossary at the end (skim it first to remind yourself of whattheheck is going on). The action switches between the four or so main players and two realities, keeping all the various concurrent plotlines in play until the conclusion, when Venice itself comes under attack and multiple assassins attack under cover of an erotic festival.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spring is the second volume of Rod Rees' four volume Demi-Monde series.

If you've read volume 1, Winter, (and if you haven't, you really do need to as coming into this blind you really will be confused) you will know that the Demi-Monde is a massive computer simulation allegedly for the US military to train soldiers. The reality is a lot more frightening. It is populated with simulations of some of the vilest, nastiest people from history and someone has plans for the real world.

The first book finished on 3 separate cliff-hangers, and where this book stands out for me, the start here is just before one of the fore-mentioned cliff-hangers (similar to how Dr Who used to handle episode starts/ends back in the day).

A good few of the main characters are still here but this volume also gives more time for secondary characters, mainly Burlesque Bandstand, the former bar owner and general wide boy, and his 'associate' Rivets. These two are really good fun.

One of the characters , Catherine Sophia, Doge of Venice, a new for this volume, though was, in my opinion, quite iritating. The problem is the way she speaks. She has spent a lot of time in many of the other European sections of the Demi-Monde so the way she speaks is a cobbled together mish mash of several accents and this can grate a bit after a while.

Back to the good stuff though...Spring introduces us to the Paris and Venice sections of the Demi-Monde in all their glory. Also, some interesting new people from these sectors, Michel de Nostradame, Robespierre, the Marquis de Sade, even appearances from Josef Mengele, Cassanova and Mata Hari.
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