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A. Donaldson (Tyneside, England)

Page: 1
The Hidden
The Hidden
by Tobias Hill
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, tense study of extremism, 24 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Hidden (Paperback)
The Hidden matches and surpasses Hill's earlier novels. It brings the tension of Underground together with the subtle relationship drama of The Cryptographer. And, although the prose wears the historical detail somewhat more lightly than that of the Love of Stones, the story makes more of it. There is more of the world reflected in the group dynamic that frames this story than in the claustrophobic individual obsessions of Hill's earlier works. Through following Ben Mercer into a tight-knit group of archaeologists on a dig in Sparta, the novel offers a study of the extremes of domination and submission that people will go to in order to live together, be it as a pair of lovers, a small community, a state or on an international scale. Against a backdrop of Spartan gods and monsters, Hill shows us the roots of all forms of extremism in the everyday and the ways in which they can coalesce into something bigger. I always find Hill's writing refreshingly straightforward, yet capable of conveying emotion with great subtlety. The Hidden did not disappoint.

Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel
Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel
by Adam Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read, 25 Feb. 2009
This is the first novel by Adam Roberts I have read, although I have enjoyed a couple of his short stories. Yellow Blue Tibia is a witty, intelligent piece of science fiction and the most enjoyable book I've read in a while. It is written as a memoir of a Russian science fiction writer who emerges as a classic unreliable narrator (due to addiction, injury and the interference of others), but also provides a wonderfully acerbic wit. The tale itself is a sort of cold-war noir (as our protagonist never seems exactly to know what he is being unwillingly dragged into) and gallops along at a fine pace. It has action, suspense, laugh-out-loud humour, a love story and perfectly pitched dialogue which draws the reader into an imagined Russia. Yellow Blue Tibia is a fantastic exploration of the UFO phenomenon, the social engineering of the 20th century and our collective utopian dreams wrapped up in 21st century quantum theory. Highly recommended.

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