The Converted by CR Hindmarsh
With his patients dead and his genetic research in tatters, Dr. Anton Springmann fled his homeland as a fugitive, taking a one-way diesel ship to New Alania. But within hours of his arrival, screams ring through the night. Hordes of gray, humanoid creatures--devils, to the townspeople--attack Anton's new home. Among the dead, Anton finds a single survivor: a young girl, Elisa Pierce. Her skin grows cracked and she begins to mutate. She's becoming a devil. Anton's seen it before.
Tormented by past sins, Anton struggles to save Elisa before the change takes her completely. But old enemies have pursued him across the seas, and now Anton is being hunted by more than just devils.
Redemption doesn't come cheap in New Alania.
Set in a land where six-guns are sacred and personal genetic modifications are the mark of nobility, THE CONVERTED is a fantasy novel with a hint of steampunk that's not afraid to delve into the darkness. Summary provided by Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Converted/dp/B004WDZAJW/)
I'm a big fan of people who go out on a limb and try the self-publishing game. As a married man with a time consuming job and lots of hobbies, I am envious of those who manage to find the time to write stories, the only way for me would be to make writing my full time job. I think about what it would be like to leave my job and become a writer, but my own thoughts always get the better of me. "What if people don't like my stuff?", "What if its just bad writing?", and "What if I lose everything?". Someone who is taking his chance at the self-publishing game is author of The Converted, Chris Hindmarsh. If Hindmarsh can keep producing stories that are equal to or better than The Converted, then I have no doubt he will be successful in his endeavours to become a mover and shaker in the self-publishing industry.
The Converted is set in the world of New Alania, a world that is very reminiscent of Bas-Lag from the New Crobuzon novels by China Mieville. This is an industrial world, a world full of factories, experiments with electricity, and experiments with genetics, all of which has resulted in a culture of genetic modification. There are religions that mirror our own, and there is the idea of gun worship, an idea that really defines how different societies operate in New Alania. Without going into more detail and providing spoilers, it is obvious that Hindmarsh has put a lot of thought into his world building, creating a place that I would happily visit again and again.
While I loved the culture, I cannot say that I loved the characters and their relationships. With the exception of Ben and Sa, I found it very hard to relate or even like to any of the characters in this book. Their moods can be inconsistent, their goals are never really well defined, and they often react to situations in ways contradictory to how I thought they should be reacting. The relationships that form between the different characters can also seem a little odd at times, especially the romantic one between two of the main characters. An unlikely relationship between two very different characters can often work, but it usually comes as a reward for the two characters after chapters and chapters of emotional and sexual tension. In this case, the romantic relationship was formed based on opportunity and spontaneity, two characteristics that hardly belong to the two characters in question, and while I actually grew to appreciate the romance in the long run, it was a romance that should have blossomed much later in the book or not at all.
The plot is a real strength in this book, and it had to be so that it could carry some of the weaker characters. While I found it hard to invest in the main character Anton because I just couldn't relate to him, I found it very easy to invest in his story because of his mysterious background, especially as these background mysteries start unravelling and big connections start being made to current plot points. The action sequences are very well written and are integral scenes that really drive the plot rather than being superfluous scenes added for the sake of having action. Intrigue and suspense is used to great effect, the mysteries are hard to decipher and are unravelled at appropriate times, and all the loose threads are dealt with in an appropriate and timely fashion. There are a few issues with prose towards the start of the book, sentences are far too short and the viewpoints can waver from paragraph to paragraph creating a somewhat staccato reading experience. After around 100 pages, these issues just seem to disappear almost instantaneously as Hindmarsh really gets into a good rhythm with solid sentence structure and well defined viewpoints pushing this book along at a more appropriate pace.
The Converted has all the hallmarks I have come to expect from a debut novel. It has a deep story set in an intricately described world with a broad spectrum of unique characters, but it just seems to be missing something, that little bit of polish that turns a good story into a fantastically immersive story. This is a story that starts out a little slow and rocky but gets much better the further you get into it. Similar to what I said in my review of The Passage, I implore you to keep reading The Converted because there is a complex story in there with a bunch of different threads and a pay-off that is well worth it.
This The Converted book review was written by Ryan Lawler
Have you read The Converted?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Converted reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Perdido Street Station
The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of its own bewildering world. Humans and mutants and arcane races throng the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the rive...
The Anubis Gates
Brendan Doyle is a twentieth-century English professor who travels back to 1810 London to attend a lecture given by English romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This is a...
The City and the City
When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Besźel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector T...
The Difference Engine
William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
The computer age has arrived a century ahead of time with Charles Babbage's perfection of his Analytical Engine. The Industrial Revolution, supercharged by the developm...
A colossal fantasy of incredible diversity and spellbinding imagination. A human cargo bound for servitude in exile... A pirate city hauled across the oceans... A hidden mi...
The Aeronaut's Windlass
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have rule...
The Mensch with No Name
Edward M Erdelac
The Merkabah Rider continues his journey across the American Southwest of 1880 in search of the renegade teacher who destroyed his mystic Jewish order in the second volume ...
The Shadow Conspiracy
1816, the year without a summer. A group of geniuses descended on Geneva and, in an attempt to save the body and mind of Lord Byron, perform dreadful and forbidden experime...
The Weavers of Saramyr
An evil that comes from within the empire's centre, a sect of magicians close to the throne intent on killing any child born with magical powers. But now the empress ha...
The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats
Sir Richard Francis Burton's expedition has returned from the future, bringing with it knowledge of technologies that must remain secret if history is to proceed as it ...
A young clockmaker's apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is ru...
The Good, the Bad and the Infernal
One day every hundred years, a town appears, its location and character different every time. It is home to the greatest miracle a man could imagine: a doorway to Heaven it...
The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man
A clockwork man is abandoned in Trafalgar Square. A ghost displays a craving for diamonds. A lost aristocrat returns ten years after being lost at sea and instigates riots ...
Sea of Ghosts
When the last of the Gravediggers, an elite imperial infiltration unit, are disbanded and hunted down by the emperor they once served, munitions expert Colonel Thomas Grang...
Edward M Erdelac
The last of an ancient order of Jewish mystics capable of extraplanar travel, The Merkabah Rider roams a demon haunted American West in search of his renegade teacher. But ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
Journey to the Black City
On an Earth that is very much like our own, the civilizations of ancient man have been crushed; the giant glaciers that cover the northern part of the globe continue, even now...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasures are in his possession. And together with Calidus and his ally Queen Rhin, Nathair will do anything to obtain the remaining Treasures. With all seven under his command, he ...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...
The Creeping Shadow
Lucy has left Lockwood & Co. A freelance operative, she is hiring herself out to other agencies – agencies that might value her ever-improving skills. But now Loc...
The Burning Page
When it's your job to save the day - where do you start? Librarian spy Irene has standards to maintain, especially while on probation. And absconding from a mission via...
The Banished Lands are torn by war as the army of High King Nathair sweeps the realm challenging all who oppose his holy crusade. Allied with the manipulative Queen Rhin of...