"THE RAT TUNNELS OF ISFAHAN" By Alejandro de Gutierre

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Saturday, November 11, 2017 Under: Book Reviews

Within just a few sentences of starting to read it became clear to me that this is a work of quality from a good, professional author.  The language, grammar and formatting are all close to perfect and, from the very first line, Alejandro draws the reader into a vivid and well-crafted tale.  The opening chapter is intriguing, horrifying and gripping, and I have to be honest: I read the whole thing from cover to cover in a very short space of time.  We are quickly personally enveloped in the principle character’s scenario with some quality descriptive monologue – almost immediately we are in his mind, and suffering every moment of his misery as a prisoner in some brutal Persian regime (think “Prince of Persia”, not Saddam Hussein!). 

To some extent the prose is drawn out and lingered upon and, in fairness, it would have refreshing to take the odd moment of respite from this in favour of a more creative storyline.  But, then, the point of this tale is not the story itself, which the author has unfortunately chosen to spread over three books – it serves more as a showcase for Alejandro’s detailed penmanship, which is undeniably quality.

I don’t want to give too much away by revealing that the author has chosen to split this book, and this part is only the first, but, be warned: “Rat Tunnels…” does, in my opinion, appear to break at a point where the story looks set to get going proper; it also, for a reason which doesn’t seem clear, changes confusingly into the present tense in the last few paragraphs.  I guess there may be an element of marketing in Alejandro’s mind here, but, from a reader’s perspective, personally I would have much preferred to see “Scorpions and Silk” (the saga’s subheading) novelized as a single book – I imagine it would be a very good one, and I think this author has a great deal of potential.

This is a great little novella, for what looks like it will shape into a very entertaining trilogy, and I recommend it highly if you want to productively kill a couple of hours.

In : Book Reviews 

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