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Monday, August 16, 2010

"The Machinery of Light" by David Williams (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official David Williams Website
Order "The Machinery of light" HERE
View a Trailer for the Novel
Read FBC review of Burning Skies
Read FBC Review of "Mirrored Heavens"

AUTHOR INFORMATION: David J. Williams is a history graduate from Yale who has also some experience being a spoke in the wheel of corporate America. He also worked as games designer for Relic Video Games and then was inspired to write his own twisted version of the future, the Autumn Rain trilogy is the final product of that attempt.

CLASSIFICATION: Combining Cyber-punk with military SF and by crafting hyper-fast action scenes with futuristic technology, David Williams has created a unique-ish mish mash in his trilogy.

The book has a page count is 405 pages divided into five named sections. Narration is in the third-person via Claire Haskell, Lyle Spencer, Seb Linehan, Leo Sarmax, Stefan Lynx & Storm Carson aka The Operative. This is the 3rd and final book in the Autumn Rain trilogy

ANALYSIS: David Williams is somewhat of a genius when it comes to concocting plots. This has been evident from the first 2 volumes of the Autumn Rain trilogy Mirrored Heavens and Burning Skies. When both of them ended with cliffhanger-ish situations it made the wait for the last book The Machinery of Light a bit hard.

The Machinery of Light
begins with Claire or Manilishi (as she's known now by everyone). It outlines the main conspirators behind the assassination of the US president Andrew Harrison, namely his Infocomm and Spacecomm heads Stephanie Montrose and Jharek Szilard who now have plans for each other but must wittingly galvanize their forces and fight off the Eurasian contingent.

Amidst all of this an Autum Rain devotee returns and is revealed to readers. This might be someone whom you had your doubts about since the latter 1/3rd of "Burning Skies". Seb Linehan manages to survive the end of the burning Skies and finds himself in some hot water (for lack of a better term). Leo Sarmax and Lyle Spencer seek to terminate a fugitive and find that their task might me harder than they expect.

All the main characters from the previous 2 books return for this trilogy ender. Many secrets are also revealed and the action just never seems to end following a trend from the previous books. David Williams has always said that the last book would be the actual end and would resolve all questions about the saga and he definitely stays true to his word. Not to give away details about the ending of this novel, but it was something totally unexpected. Sure there were clues interspersed but the climax is something which couldn't have been easily predicted. The end was what gave this book and the trilogy something of a spectacular read for myself.

David J. Williams continues his hyper-manic, action heavy prose and if you are reading this book then I'm going to assume that you like this style to finish the earlier two books. There's no let up as the all the characters are either chasing or avoiding each other as they go through multiple variations of their original mission.

What is eventually revealed about the Autumn Rain group will definitely blow the reader's minds. Based on this reveal, a lot of things from the previous 2 books make a lot of sense as to how and why Autumn Rain always had the upper hand in the most troublesome situations.

The POV is constantly switched in between the chapters early on and by the time the end is approached POV changes are occurring every couple of paragraphs.

The end sequence is what makes this book standout amongst the entire trilogy and as I was reading it, it reminded me a lot of the climax of the Godfather wherein orchestrated by Michael Corleone, a lot of killings and events occur simultaneously thereby heralding his ascension to the head of the Corleone as well the Mafia families of the East Coast. A similar play-by-play occurs in these last few pages except that David Williams has jacked up the action to almost unseen levels and by bringing it to a spectacular end, makes him known as an author to watch out for in whatever he chooses to write about next.

The Machinery of Light was a fascinating climax to the tale begun years ago and by closing on such a high, it is my hope that David will be hitting a lot of "Best-of" lists by the year end!



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