First of all – what a beautiful cover! And it really does set the scene of the book. This is a gorgeously produced book and you just know that care and attention has been lavished on it. And the writing needs to be special to deserve that attention doesn’t it? Luckily Langmead’s second novel does.
The book opens in an old folks’ home where we are introduced to William Manderlay, an aging violinist who once wrote an album whilst in a fever-dream. When Manderlay starts having bizarre dreams he discovers that his album, Solomon’s Eye, has a deeper meaning in the world of dreams.
Most of the action takes place in a lovingly built dreamworld. Here Langmead excels, the worldbuilding plays a starring role. That’s not to say that characterisation or plot or any other factor is neglected, but the worldbuilding lifts it all up.
There are a couple of small niggles, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment. I did wonder what the point of setting up the old folks’ home was, apart to set up Manderlay’s character, which could have been done whilst the plot got rolling. Also the ending left me a little unsatisfied but maybe due to the fact that it left me wanting more. Although I think what I wanted more of was development of the idea revealed late on (no spoilers).
Langmead also excels at action and the plot skips along merrily. There’s some great imagery in there and it was a very quick and enjoyable read. I look forward to seeing what he does next.