Sunday, 1 November 2020

Unbroken Truth by Lukas Lundh

Unbroken Truth by Lukas Lundh

Self published today, the 1st November 2020.

A Book With Vegan Characters and included in my Vegan Bookshop

How I got this book: Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon UK /

Beneath the arcane Rustpeaks lies the city of Lansfyrd, where visibility is at an all-time low and airships rumble through the skies. Detective Lentsay “Len” Yoriya is a former homicide detective stuck at a burglary assignment as punishment for loving the wrong person. But when a xenophobic radio-shaman is murdered and the killers try to frame the city’s oppressed insectoids, Len sees a chance to prove her worth. But high-profile murders are rarely uncomplicated. 

In the city’s affluent quarters, Len’s partner Vli-Rana Talie works as a lector at the university, studying the history of a species that once ruled the world. As the temperature rises for her partner, Vli will soon realize that delving into history that some would prefer was forgotten will carry risks of its own. 

Meanwhile, there is an election coming up, and the tension simmering in the city is reaching a boiling point. Vli and Len must find what allies they can and face the powers that threaten their home, and their lives. 

I don't often read fantasy novels, but was drawn to give Unbroken Truth a try because I was intrigued by its Steelpunk tag. The novel is partly a crime mystery and partly a political thriller, both aspects of which were complex enough to keep me hooked throughout the story. Where Lundh really excelled for me, however, was in his evocations of seedy city life on an inhospitable world. Lansfyrd became so real to me as I read that I could almost believe I walked its streets alongside Len and Vli-Rana. The Dustlands are beset by extreme air pollution which necessitates anyone outdoors to be swathed in goggles and filter masks. This rust-particle haze frequently obscures visibility to such an extent that someone standing just a few feet away could be hidden. I loved how this physical reality for the characters mirrored their difficulties in trying to unravel the radio shaman's murder.

Unbroken Truth features a diverse multicultural cast. Characters from different species live alongside each other in occasional harmony, but more often antagonistically with frequent incidents of casual and institutional racism dividing them. That these divisions are whipped up by callous politicians for personal gain felt only too familiar. Lanfyrd and its environs often came across to me as a futuristic society, very remote from our own, but Lundh's vivid portrayal is grounded in such a similar reality to present-day Earth that it also remained utterly plausible. The thought of eating animal flesh, for example, is an outdated anathema, yet many characters chain smoke as though they were in an episode of The Sweeney!

I did sometimes struggle to remember all the different political affiliations and groups in a way that reminded me of reading George Orwell's Homage To Catalonia, if that memoir had been relocated to Mao's China. Also sometimes Lundh's prose seemed a little awkward with too much background information crammed into a paragraph. That said though, I am pleased to have taken a chance on this fantasy debut and look forward to its sequel in due course.

Meet the author   

Lukas Lundh grew up around books and started writing in early childhood. He speaks English, Swedish and Japanese from living in New Zealand as a teen and studying for a year in Japan in his early 20s.

He is educated in philosophy, game design, creative writing and is currently working on a history degree.

Between reading course books which inspire history flash-fictions, Lukas writes everything in between space opera, fantasy steelpunk, and post-ap war dystopias.

His debut novel, a steelpunk spy thriller, Unbroken Truth, is available for pre-order. He doesn’t blog, but he is active on twitter.

Author links: 


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Books by Lukas Lundh / Fantasy fiction / Books from Sweden

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