Saturday, June 27, 2020

Review: The City in the Middle of the Night



The story of this Hugo nominated novel takes place on the planet January, a sphere tidally locked to its star, creating two worlds, one scorched by constant sunlight, the other a cold world of endless night. Humans barely survive in the narrow twilight world that borders both extremities. 


The story begins with a sacrifice. Sophie takes the blame for a theft committed by her roommate Bianca, her punishment for this trivial misdemeanour, to be hurled down a steep precipice to the night world and almost certain death. Unexpectedly, Sophie is saved by a fearsome alien life form (the Gelids) and returned to her twilight home, Xiosphant.  


The setting up of the story was a delight. Anders builds tension with skilled prose, quickly capturing reader interest. I look forward to completing this novel and delving deeper into the workings of the time-regulated human world of Xiosphant and its relationship with the alien cultures of the night world.


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