Book review: Quietus

By Tristam Palmgren
Published by Angry Robot

Synopsis: Niccolucio, a young Florentine Carthusian monk, leads a devout life until the Black Death kills all of his brothers, leaving him alone and filled with doubt. Habidah, an anthropologist from another universe racked by plague, is overwhelmed by the suffering. Unable to maintain her observer neutrality, she saves Niccolucio from the brink of death.
Habidah discovers that neither her home's plague nor her assignment on Niccolucio's world are as she's been led to believe. Suddenly the pair are drawn into a worlds-spanning conspiracy to topple an empire larger than the human imagination can contain.

How did this book end up in my hands? A friend mentioned a book about an anthropologist from another planet coming to Earth to study the plague. It sounded intriguing but he didn’t remember neither title nor author. Thankfully, there is always someone on Twitter with an answer to all kinds of questions!

Was it a page-turner? Yes, I’d say so. The chapters are narrated from the point of view of different characters and this alternation made me want to read even faster because I couldn’t wait to catch up with whichever character I had left behind.

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? Yes, the book delivered exactly what was promised.

Did I like the ending? [no spoilers] This genre is definitely out of my comfort zone but I decided to read it because the synopsis had intrigued me. The last few chapters made me feel like a fish out of water as they got slightly too sci-fi-tastic for my liking but that’s entirely due to my unfamiliarity with the genre.

Three words to describe it. Epic. Historical. Intriguing.

Do I like the cover? Yes, it suits the book very well.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, this is Tristan Palmgren’s debut novel. The sequel to QuietusTerminus – is going to be published later this year.

Will I be recommending this book? Definitely to people who are into this genre – especially if they enjoy reading about strong, female characters. I would also recommend it to readers not familiar with this genre but open to read outside their comfort zone. People like me, basically, who enjoy a well-written book.

Anything else? Yes, you can read a Q&A with the author here!

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