Review | Those Above – Daniel Polansky


  • Hardcover (Hodder & Stoughton, 416 pages)
  • First published 2015
  • Rating on Goodreads: 2 stars
  • Review copy courtesy of Bookbridgr

“They enslaved humanity three thousand years ago. Tall, strong, perfect, superhuman and near immortal they rule from their glittering palaces in the eternal city in the centre of the world. They are called Those Above by their subjects. They enforce their will with fire and sword. 

Twenty five years ago mankind mustered an army and rose up against them, only to be slaughtered in a terrible battle. Hope died that day, but hatred survived. Whispers of another revolt are beginning to stir in the hearts of the oppressed: a woman, widowed in the war, who has dedicated her life to revenge; the general, the only man to ever defeat one of Those Above in single combat, summoned forth to raise a new legion; and a boy killer who rises from the gutter to lead an uprising in the capital.”

I wish I could have enjoyed this. But it never felt like it was going anywhere. There were characters – too many – who weren’t detailed enough. Cardboard cutouts. The plot, however? It was non-existent. There was nothing to make it a fantasy book, let alone a good one. It was just so muddled. So dull. And I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t finish this. Doesn’t happen often, but there you go. It just was not an interesting story. (That, and I’m not keen on fantasy stories with obvious Roman influences, but that’s my own bias.)

I’ve heard great things about Polansky’s writing, so I may give his Low Town series a try, but as for this new series? Not a fan. Not a fan at all. Do not recommend.


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