Smoke, by Dan Vyleta is the first book and only book that's sent me edible Book Swag- Yeah baby! And they're from the same company mentioned in the book, not just some off-the-hip goodies. I loved the tin and the cover sent to me over the one that was actually released. Not to mention, the story takes place in London, though not the London we know...
This is a complicated tale. If I had to be completely honest, it was the most complicated story I've read in a long time. The story started off with a true purpose, but I began to feel a bit lost after so long.
Smoke is set in the 1700's, but in a sort of alternate universe. One where, from the 1600's on, every person emits smoke. When they're angry, they smoke, when they're lecherous, they smoke. Smoke is an acrid manifestation of sin- or so everyone believes. But there are a few, discovered by some school boys and a young girl, those who can control their smoke. They can appear more saintly or righteous by using illegal cigarettes or small candies, made by Beasley & Son. These candies, too, are illegal, but for particulars, they are rationed via the government, to the aristocratic, pastors and more! The young adults, Thomas, Charlie and Livia, set out to discover where the cigarettes and candies come from and hopefully expose the scandal. What they find is very close to home for one, and highly dangerous for the others and something so big, the world could be changed.
I wish I could say I was completely in love with this book. I can't, but I can say, it was very interesting and not a complete loss of time- though I felt rather lost for a good portion of the story. Vyleta started off strong; he described the world, the world of smoke. He explained what it was and how it showed itself, and even how people dealt with it, but there was so much more. It was the 'more' part that lost me.
Along the journey, something happened. The story got side-tracked and the story got lost. People were going crazy- no, psychotic! I think the journey the youth endured ended up taking on a new purpose and I became a little bored. But, it returned eventually and was able to finish without too big a hitch. The actual plot, should I have been fortunate enough to capture it, was really, rather foolish. It's was so crazy, the phrase 'ending with a bang' seemed playful. I wasn't sure what was happening from time to time and folks tended to prattle on, but I believe I understood well.
Smoke is written as though by Charles Dickens and very regal. During the times I worked and listened to the audiobook, I found myself transported to London and it's countrysides, not covered in lush greenery but thick, black soot and smoke.. The narrator, Allan Cordoner, was excellent. Full of life and able to change his voice enough to bring the women to life, he made the auditory version a pleasant listen. Also, the book changes POV's, but not enough to distort the story. Why Vyleta did this, I do not know. I honestly didn't believe it was necessary, but what do I know. I didn't write it! LOL
If you love Dickens-like stories, check out Smoke. It's worth the listen, just do your best to stay focused. On to the next book!
The candies taste much better than the story states!📚
Ratings: 👓👓👓 out of 5 specs
*Shattered Girls is next.
**Book is from Doubleday and Shelf Awareness, for an honest review.
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