DAVID NICKLE’S RASPUTIN’S BASTARDS REVIEWED & MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS GIVEAWAY
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to provide the loyal reader’s of The Crow’s Caw with not only a fantastic review of RASPUTIN’S BASTARDS by David Nickle but a giveaway as well. Lucky winners will will receive a copy of David Nickle’s excellent short story collection MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS, which was the Black Quill Award Winner for Best Dark Genre Collection (2010). Giveaway only valid in North America.
Here’s how to enter the MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS giveaway:
1 – Twitter, tweet with hashtag #City512 and a link to WhatIsCity512.com.
2 – Facebook, post the link to WhatIsCity512.com and tag ChiZine Publications in the post.
3 – Google Plus, post with hashtag #City512 and a link to WhatIsCity512.com.
You will have until 10 p.m. EDT on 6/14/12 to participate, which means you’ll have a day and a half. Winners will be picked randomly. Good luck and PLEASE spread the word! Special thanks to Beverly Bambury, ChiZine Publications, and K.E. Bergdoll for making this happen!!
RASPUTIN’S BASTARDS by David Nickle/ ChiZine Publications (July 26, 2012) / 500 pages / Signed Limited Edition Hardcover (150), Trade Paperback, and eBook
What would you do with power to play in men’s minds? Inversely, what if everything you knew about yourself was a lie, an elaborately built fiction crafted by the will of gods, making you their puppet, their slave? How would you react if the puppeteer’s control slipped? Rasputin’s Bastards explores these questions with a vigorous plot and deep characters.
It is difficult to describe a novel as lengthy and detailed as this without either giving away too much, or writing a treatise containing only points the potential reader would not find useful. At first, Rasputin’s Bastards feels like a post-Soviet spy thriller. We join former KGB agent Alexei Kilodovich as he is pulled from the Atlantic by a passing boat and in an automatic act of paranoia, feigns amnesia to his rescuers. But Alexei isn’t who he appears to be. He might not even be who he believes he is. David Nickle leads the reader through dreams and mystery, deftly weaving a coherent path through the mists. Halfway through the book, I was enthralled, yet had no idea where the author planned to take me—indeed, Nickle packs surprise after surprise into his text. Just when you think you have a firm grip on what is really happening, he tosses you another detail to change everything. He asks the reader to trust him while his characters delve deep into the meaning of power and freewill. Nickle maintains this level of faith in part through believable psychology, in both protagonists and antagonists. Despite the complicated tune the characters must dance to, their reactions remain consistent and satisfying.
The scope of this book is massive. It seems an unimaginable feat to combine dream walking, KGB, CIA, mobsters, arms dealers, psychics, giant squids and the Mad Monk. Such an exploit should result in a quagmire of plotlines, underdeveloped characters and sheer chaos. And yet Rasputin’s Bastards pulls off this remarkable trick. Full of plots within plots, secrets and false memories, Nickle shapes the narrative with the deft hand of a true craftsman. Reality flows as shifting truths challenge the power of metaphor and myth. Characters break and are rewoven, while the plot hurtles through dead man curves of unconstrained imagination. In this remarkable novel, generations of psychic puppet masters clash, threatening the future of humanity, while their tools doubt reality and reap the rewards, learning the full deceit of their masters and just what is at stake.
A journey from the depths of the sea, the heart of Mother Russia, to the darkest corners of the soul, this book appeals to the reader’s intellectual curiosity, and engages the heart with surprising moments of emotionality. I definitely will be looking for more of Nickle’s work and highly recommend Rasputin’s Bastards.
- K.E. Bergdoll