Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson

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I don’t know what to think about this book. I really liked it but it left me both confused and in a reading slump (so thank you book).

Europe at Midnight is the second book in the Fractured Europe Sequence and it is a very loose sequel to Europe in Autumn that I read a little over two weeks ago. If you follow/read my blog for some time, you may have seen that I don’t usually read books back to back, I used to do it when I was younger but now I don’t do it as often mainly because I don’t want to burn myself out on a series. Europe at Midnight was an exception, I bought it the second I finished Europe in Autumn, I was supposed to read Morning Star before reading Europe at Midnight (let’s call it EaM for the rest of this review) because Morning Star was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, however when I started Morning Star I realized that the only thing I wanted to read was EaM..

As I said before, it is a very loose sequel to Europe in Autumn; they are both set in the same universe but, to my disappointment, they don’t follow the same characters. If you read my pretty long review of the first book, you know that I loved Rudi (the main character) and well, I really missed him in this book. He made a confusing appearance toward the end but it wasn’t enough (at least for me).

We were not told the name of the main character of this book which was funny because at first, I didn’t realized it. However after a couple of chapters, when I thought about this book, I realized that something was missing in the equation haha.

The structure of EaM is very different from the first book;  half of it is written in first person form the perspective of the unamed character and the other half is from the perspective of other characters written in third person, and I really enjoyed the dynamic it created. I have to say though, that I liked the way the first book was written better because it felt more like a collection of short stories that were all linked but, I think a lot of reader might enjoyed the way EaM is structured more than EiA.

In my review of the first book, I said that I loved the fact that the majority of the intrigue took part in Eastern Europe and I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t the case in the sequel. Indeed, the characters mostly are in England and Scotland, which was still a very interesting setting but for me, it was a bit of a step down from the very diverse setting of the first book. I can understand why Hutchinson changed the setting, I mean it was probably so we could see the consequences of the first book in the richest part of Europe and see the “bigger picture” but oh well, I still enjoyed the first book more.

I know this review may sounds very negative. Don’t be fooled, I still liked the book a lot. I think that EaM may please a lot more reader than the first book actually. It’s a great and still incredibly relevant  SF/political thriller. I couldn’t put it down and I haven’t been able to finish a book since I read this one (except one or two short stories and a Tor.com novella) which means that I am probably in the biggest “book hangover” of my life.

So, would I recommend it? Yes abslolutey, without a doubt. It’s just that when you read a really excellent book, it’s hard to judge its sequel.

 

★★★★

 This was a really overdue book review, sorry for the lack of content this past week, the fact that I just started school again in a completely new place and that my incapacity to finish books recently mean that I wasn’t exactly in the right place of mind to write reviews. 

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