cover image City of Iron and Dust

City of Iron and Dust

J.P. Oakes. Titan, $15.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-78909-710-8

Oakes’s fascinating but overstuffed debut puts a new spin on a post-apocalyptic universe. The war between the fae and goblins has ended and the Iron City stands as a symbol of goblin victory and fae defeat, ruled by five major goblin houses from within the tall towers at its heart. Against this backdrop, the lives of a varied assortment of characters collide one fateful night in the quest for Dust, a drug capable of restoring lost fae magic, if only for a moment. Among the sprawling cast are a drug dealer, a goblin heiress, a deposed ruler, an artist, a fae patriot, and a kobold revolutionary—and their meeting could alter the course of the Iron City forever. Fast-paced and resplendent with action, betrayal, and sometimes odd twists, the visceral, present-tense narrative is chaotic and would be difficult to follow if it weren’t for the way it repeatedly circles back on itself, exhaustively exploring the loss of wonder, the rise of industrialism, and the lure of Dust. The driving philosophical beat is tempered by guerilla strikes of humor and intense introspection. Despite its flaws, this darkly idealistic world offers lovers of the bloody and fantastical plenty to enjoy. [em](July) [/em]