Title: Down Station
Author: Simon Morden
Release Date: 18th February 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London.
They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through...and find themselves on a wild shore backed by cliffs and rolling grassland. The way back is blocked. Making their way inland they meet a man dressed in a wolf's cloak and with wolves by his side. He speaks English and has heard of a place called London - other people have arrived here down the ages - all escaping from a London that is burning. None of them have returned. Except one - who travels between the two worlds at will. The group begin a quest to find this one survivor; the one who holds the key to their return and to the safety of London.
And as they travel this world, meeting mythical and legendary creatures,split between North and South by a mighty river and bordered by The White City and The Crystal Palace they realise they are in a world defined by all the London's there have ever been.
Reminiscent of Michael Moorcock and Julian May this is a grand and sweeping science fantasy built on the ideas, the legends, the memories of every London there has ever been.
We meet a selection of people including track workers, commuters and cleaners who find themselves trapped in the bowels of the London Underground following a fiery apocalyptic inferno up top, we join them as they run for their lives as the fire forces its way through the vast network of tunnels, melting and burning everything and anyone in its way.
Our group frantically try and escape, and during this time you can literally feel the furnace that is surrounding them, it truly is horrifying but just when they think their time is up salvation comes and they find a door, but it does not lead to where they expect.
The door opens on to a shore, a wild coastline, how the hell can this be on the other side of a door in the underground?
It does give them a choice - do they stay and try to find another way out or do they go through the door and try their luck in this unexpected place?
So I won't give you any more because I won't do this story justice but the change in story from London to the strange new world is wonderful, you go from the dark dank underground (well before it is on fire) to the strange, almost exotic world which is populated by few but the few who live there are definitely strange such as the man in the wolf cloak.
Even though they have survived the inferno, they want to get home but is this possible or will they be stuck in this strange new world?
This is an interesting read with a great new world to immerse yourself in, it is fantastical and thrilling, a great book to add to your fantasy/sci-fi shelf.
Thank you to Gollancz for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review
Released 18th February 2016