Book Review: Kingdom: Tiber City Blues by Anderson O’Donnell

Posted April 9, 2020 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Dystopian, Review, Science-Fiction / 0 Comments

Book Review: Kingdom: Tiber City Blues by Anderson O’DonnellKingdom: Tiber City Blues by Anderson O'Donnell
Narrator: Tucker McDougall
Published by Self-published on 02-19-20
Genres: Dystopian, Science-Fiction
Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: three-stars

Kingdom: Tiber City Blues

In a secret laboratory hidden under the desert, a covert bioengineering project—codename “Exodus”—has discovered the gene responsible for the human soul.
Somewhere in the neon sprawl outside the nation’s collapsing economic core, a group of renegade monks are on the verge of uncovering a secret that has eluded mankind for centuries.
In a glittering tower high above the urban decay, an ascendant U.S. Senator is found dead—an apparent, yet inexplicable, suicide.
And in the streets below, a young couple races through an ultra-modern metropolis on the verge of a violent revolution… closing in on the terrible truth behind Exodus--and one man’s dark vision for the future of mankind.
Welcome to Tiber City.


Editorial Reviews

“A taut, brilliantly conceived thriller with impeccable pacing bursting with ideas... For fans of noir-laden science fiction in the vein of Philip K. Dick that is in equal measures suspenseful, gripping, darkly funny and philosophically challenging.”

Kirkus Reviews

“There simply aren’t enough stars to communicate the impressiveness of O’Donnell’s work here. He has taken religion, science, politics, theory and philosophy and blended them all together to create what is easily one of the most important books to come out this year.”
Pavarti K. Tyler, Fighting Monkey Press

From the Back Cover

Kingdom: Tiber City Blues is a thrill-a-minute, bio-punk myth that manages to wrestle with the most pressing issues of the new millennium. O'Donnell has crafted a kickass novel of tomorrow night, when the big party gets raided by the monsters we've been building for the last half-century. Hip and hellish, wild and weird, Tiber City is the dystopian megalopolis into which we will all soon move--whether we know it or not.

Campbell decides to leave the horrors of the secret genetics laboratory where he works behind to start an anonymous new life and to try to get redemption for the horrors he helped to perpetrate. Morrison, his younger colleague, is decided to make Cambell come back, while Meghan, Morrison’s daughter goes in search of Dylan Fitzgerald, the son of a senator who inexplicably committed suicide. Meghan has stolen some important papers from his father that may tell a lot about Dylan and his defunct father.

This is a noir sci-fi tale, clearly inspired by Phillip K. Dick and William Gibson, without being fully cyberpunk, but transmitting the same feeling of a decaying society that is already beyond salvation. O’Donnell was able to create a unique atmosphere with detailed and profuse descriptions so elaborated that I was almost able to test the grim air of Tiber city. This rich language was one of the best parts of the story, but it was also its bane. It distracted me from what the story was really about. The intrigue had a slow and long buildup in which I was tantalized at the beautiful language and descriptions. I got hooked because I wanted to know what was the deal with Dylan, his father, and Morrison; but after several times that we almost get some information but don’t, I was getting desperate. At last, we get the truth, but it felt somehow anticlimactic, just too mystical for me. I like the hard facts and I also enjoy going into a character’s psyche, but mysticism and genetics are two things that shouldn’t be mixed in my opinion.

I have another small complaint about the language used in the book. It was rich, descriptive, but the constant personification of objects bothered me to no end. Examples of this are “broken lights observing the caravan’s progress like angels on high” or “drone silent yet omniscient”. This was a constant throughout the book. I may pass a couple of them, but they were one after the other, and that, coupled to the many times that we almost got information but didn’t, made me a bit impatient and I was losing interest towards the end of the book.

Tucker McDougall delivered a narration that matched the writing style well. It sounded a bit like a declamation and felt a bit forced, but it went well with the intricate writing style. I usually prefer more natural narrations, but it was decent, the character interpretations were quite good. There was a bit more reverberation than usual, but not to the point that it was disturbing.

I would recommend this book if you are into cyberpunk and do not mind a bit of mysticism. If you are into elaborate writing style and detailed descriptions and abundant use of personification, this book might be for you. It was not my cup of tea, though. It made big promises but it did not deliver.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Story (Plot)
Overall: three-stars