Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Imagine if you will...

The greatest rock band in history decides to remake a city in its own image, a place where the freaks of the world won't be seen as outcasts, but celebrated as the norm, a place where a leather garbed, mohawk-sporting, pierced-laden outsider can call home.

Welcome to The Renegade City... utopia for the unwanted.

But as with most utopias, things aren't always as Rosy as they seem.

In Kim Lakin-Smith's debut novel, in the near-future, the city of Nottingham has been transformed into The Renegade City . The city has divided itself into several sub-classes, with classifications such as Castclan, Skinwalkers, Fae, Trawlers, DarkLed, Grallators, and Drathcor. The city is governed by the Management, overseen by Origin, a rock band of Epic proportions.

Right off the bat, however, things begin on a sour note. The lead singer of Origin, a Messiah of sorts named Roses, has died in a fire. Questions and suspicions are raised at the highest levels. Was Roses intentionally killed? By whom? By which sub-class? The investigation is on to find the answer to these questions, which in turn lead to new questions.

The concept is great in and of itself, but what really makes this book shine is Lakin-Smith's incredible writing; this novel is really a 237 page poem, with enough dazzling imagery and allusions to make your imagination perk up its ears and wag its tail. The language is brilliant, reminding me over and over again of the work of Arthur Machen. That, combined with an imagination expansive and deep enough to rival that of Clive Barker, makes it clear that Kim Lakin-Smith is a brand new breed of writer; one with the chops to describe the darkest side of the human experience in language so beautiful that you'll enjoy reading it.

I eagerly await the next Tale from the Renegade City, as I'm certain that the new Queen of the Futuristic Industrial Goth Movement won't disappoint.

This novel is highly, highly recommended.

You can check out Kim's website by going HERE.
Rated 5 out of 5
(Originally reviewed in "The Daily Cave" on August 27th, 2007)

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