Set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, The Engine What Runs The World follow Smoke Callahan, private detective in his quest to find a missing girl in a world that’s taken to live underground. Ripe with murderers, thieves and conspiracies, this story will get your mind racing.
What first struck me as absolutely brilliant about this book was the world building. Buckland has built an impressively fascinating world where most of society has taken to live underground, on various floors marked as ‘first below’, ‘second below’, and so on. Some people still live on the surface, while does who are well off reside in The Tower. What makes the world so fascinating is how organic it is. It’s like I’ve known this world all my life, and the way it works is captivating.
The characters are also incredibly layered and thought-out. There’s a lot of them, but even so, I never felt overwhelmed or confused (which I tend to do), and there’s so many nuances, even to those who don’t get a lot of screen time. I caught my mind wandering in every direction, wanting to follow characters this way and that, wanting to know more about them, who they were and what they wanted.
Buckland’s writing is strong and emotional, while at times raw and dirty. There’s a scattering of errors throughout the book, perhaps a few more than to be expected, but it’s nothing that can’t be overlooked.
By the end of it, you’ll have a lot of threads to keep track of, thinking there’s no way the plot could all come together. Well, it does, but you’ll have to read the book to know how.
Impressively well-built, with strong, awesome characters.
I highly recommend it.