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The Inverted World

"I had reached the age of six hundred and fifty miles." The opening sentence of Inverted World's first chapter immediately indicates that perception bending weirdness will be a core theme of the story, and the rest of the book does not disappoint. Nuggets of that weirdness are slowly drip-fed as the protagonist is inducted into the system of Guilds that run the moving city he was born in. Priest's pacing in this regard is masterful, revelation constantly feels just around the corner, but each new piece of information only adds to the confusion; though in a way that leaves you feeling hungry for more, rather than cheated.

That is not to say that the book is without its flaws. I found the change in perspective between different sections of the book rather jarring (about half the chapters are written in first-person, whereas the others are in third-person) and, if one were to nitpick, the protagonist does spend most of their time reacting to events in a way which robs the reader of any feeling of agency. Despite these criticisms, however, I thoroughly enjoyed Inverted World (as demonstrated by the shorter time it took me to read it compared to recent books) and will definitely return to it in the future. I also admired Priest's choice of ending, never quite knowing which of two conflicting viewpoint's is an accurate portrayal of reality is one of my favourite aspects of sci-fi; it's nice to get the old brain cells working every now and again.