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Review: Planesrunner by Ian McDonald

Planesrunner by Ian McDonald (Everness #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
There is not one you. There are many yous. There is not one world. There are many worlds. Ours is one among billions of parallel earths.

When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped from the streets of London, he leaves young Everett a mysterious app on his computer. Suddenly, this teenager has become the owner of the most valuable object in the multiverse—the Infundibulum—the map of all the parallel earths, and there are dark forces in the Ten Known Worlds who will stop at nothing to get it. They’ve got power, authority, the might of ten planets—some of them more technologically advanced than our Earth—at their fingertips. He’s got wits, intelligence, and a knack for Indian cooking.

To keep the Infundibulum safe, Everett must trick his way through the Heisenberg Gate that his dad helped build and go on the run in a parallel Earth. But to rescue his dad from Charlotte Villiers and the sinister Order, this Planesrunner’s going to need friends. Friends like Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her adopted daughter, Sen, and the crew of the airship Everness.

Can they rescue Everett’s father and get the Infundibulum to safety? The game is afoot!

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US($7.69)/UK | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
I'm trying to find the right words to describe my awe while reading this book... Planesrunner has been on my bookshelf for a long time, I just saw few very good reviews from the blogs I trust and bought it. If not for my book buying ban, it would have stayed gathering dust there for much much longer...

The book starts with Everett Singh, a teenage son of a quantum physicist seeing his dad being kidnapped on the streets of London. Police treating the case as of missing person and don't believe that Everett is telling the truth. Desperate boy receives a strange file from his dad's email account and from then on his life is never the same again.

Apparently, his father has been working on mapping parallel universes and a power group following his research snatched him to work only for them not for the good of all. Now it's up to his very talented son to jump through the gates and save everyone.

This book starts as sci-fi, incredibly fascinating, with all the theories of parallel worlds and human beings just like you inhabiting them, but it quickly evolves into an electropunk as Everett himself calls it when he jumps to the world in which he thinks his father is held hostage.

The London he sees runs on electricity and is full of magnificent airships. It's very colourful, reminds you of late Victorian era, full of spicy new language that Airish (airship sailors?) use to communicate and strange new customs.

Very quickly Everett gets taken under care of a young, bold teenage air pilot, Sen, the daughter of Anastasia Sixsmyth, the captain of Everness and starts plotting how to get his father back with the help of the friends he is acquiring.

The world-building is incredibly gorgeous (the closest comparison that comes to mind is Iron Seas series by Meljean Brook), the smells, the clothes, the food, the unique nanotechnology, the language, the mannerisms, the prejudice against Airish, - it's all thought through.

Then there is Everett, fabulous Punjabi teen, science geek, footballer, Doctor Who aficionado and a talented chef. His character is written with much love, and really comes to life.

I can say the same about courageous Sen. The women in this book are represented just as equally as men. Sen, who knows all the darkest alleys around Hackney Port and bribes her way out of trouble flashing her unique Tarot cards at people.

Of course there is a villainess with too much make up on, an evil plot of world(s) domination, an airships duel and lots of courage, gaiety and heartbreak. According to Poloni, Airish language, this book is fantabulosa! As in fabulous.

* * *
Какая же шикарная книга вышла у Иана Макдональда, дамы и господа!

Знакомьтесь, Эверетт Сингх, сын квантового физика, гений, фанат Доктора Who, футболист, характерный полу индийский, полу британский подросток и талантливый повар. 

Книга начинается с похищения отца Эверетта на удицах Лондона средь бела дня, за чем наблюдает сам мальчик. Обращение в полицию не дает ничего толкового и похищение превращается в дело о пропавшем без вести.

Тем временем, Эверетт получает таинственный файл с электронного ящика его отца и загружает созданную им программу Инфиндибьюлум - своеобразную систему координат параллельных нам миров. Оказывается его отец работал с группой правительственных представителей из различных миров, однако группа из мира Три решила захватить карту только для себя, чтобы получить превосходство над всеми остальными мирами. Естественно, на этот момент книга кажется научной фантастикой.

Но не тут то было.

Всё меняется когда Эверетт находит способ прыгнуть в Мир Три, где, как он верит, держат его отца. Догадка его правильна, и теперь в этом альтернативном Лондоне, работающем на электричестве вместо привычного нам топлива, полном воздушных кораблей, дирижаблей, интересных нано-технологий и маннеризмов конца 19 века ему необходимо приспособиться, обзавестись друзьями и высвободить папу из рук злодеев.

Я просто не представляю как тяжело эту книгу было бы перевести на русский. Взять тот же полони - язык, слэнг на котором говорят воздушные моряки. Я от него была в полном восторге! Смесь итальянского и тайного наречия воров Викторианского Лондона - бона, фантабьюлоса, донна и прочие словечки...

Книга невероятно живая и захватывающая. Еверетт, с его интересным процессом мышления, Сен - пилот Эвернесса, воздушного корабоя, капитаном которого является её мать Анастасия Сиксмиф, Сен - дерзкая, бойкая, задиристая девчонка, знающая все тёмные переулки порта Хакни и показывающая свои карты Таро всем, кто её об этом просит вместо оплаты за товары и услуги в порту.

Акценты, запахи, еда, бои воздушных кораблей, тёмные заговоры, злодейка с большим количеством макияжа, смех сквозь слёзы и невероятные приключения... Я с огромным нетерпением жду когда в мои руки попадётся вторая книга серии, ибо такие сокровища пропускать нельзя! Жутко рекомендую!
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