Steeple by Jon Wallace
A Recommended Book of the Month
Steeple is the sequel to Jon Wallace's Barricade, if you haven't yet read that the review can be found here. Please note that spoilers for Barricade may be found below.
Steeple begins not long after the end of Barricade and we meet Kenstibec in the middle of a raid - surprisingly he is now working with Reals. This is due to Kenstibec and Fatty now living in a human settlement ruled by Clive, the self proclaimed King of Kent. Kenstibec, after the events of Barricade, no longer has access to his nanotech which means that he is unable to heal himself and is susceptible to the diseases and health risks that plague this post-apocalyptic world.
This is the closest Kenstibec has ever come to being Real and he is not happy with this situation but will go along with Fatty’s plan of hiding in plain sight as he has no wish to die. With the help of Fatty, who was born with the gift of the gab, Kenstibec is learning to pass as Real using the abbreviated name of Ken, but the threat of discovery hangs over his head. Kenstibec is growing bored of the daily life of Reals and after a chance conversation with Fatty they both end up on a fool’s errand to infiltrate the largest and newest tower built in London before the bomb was dropped, in the hopes that there is a large amount of gold to be found at the tower’s summit.
Fatty and Ken are joined on their journey by Bridget, an outsider in Clive’s settlement. Bridget is fairly annoying throughout the book as she is quite ineffective when action is needed. She is not the sharpest tool in the box and she manages to continually get the small group in trouble after she finds out that Ken is not as Real as she thought he was. By the end of Steeple Bridget does grow on you slightly but she is unfortunately the third wheel in this odd group.
Throughout Steeple we see Kenstibec becoming frustrated by the fact that he is becoming more Real. He denies that there are feelings and connections being made between himself and the other characters but this is shown most clearly in his relationship with Pistol, the Ficial dog he finds during a raid. Kenstibec continually grows as a character during his adventures with Fatty and Bridget and this makes him easier to relate to in comparison with his character in Barricade.
Each chapter of Steeple begins with Kenstibec’s earliest memories after he is released from Control's compound to begin his first job with Diorama. This job was to design and help build a giant tower which was needed to help with the population increase in London due to an influx of refugees. These short bursts of memory are really useful to the overall story and fill in some gaps in Kenstibec’s history.
Kenstibec has ulterior motives for wanting to see if the tower built on hope is still standing. It is fun to see Kenstibec becoming more devious as he learns from Fatty to bend the truth. In some ways Fatty and Ken have become a comedy double act, each using the other for their own purposes.
What Kenstibec, Fatty, Bridget and Pistol experience on their way to the top of the tower is intense, they have to face many trials and are continually having to fight for their lives. Steeple shows us how completely society broke down before the bomb was dropped. Death and destruction have followed Kenstibec wherever he has been and continues to follows wherever he goes. Kenstibec is a singular character, he can never be called a nice guy, but for someone with a massive superiority complex having been knocked off his pedestal, he shows that he is the beating heart of this story.
Steeple exceeds the first volume of its trilogy in terms of character and plot. It is fast paced with a lot of interesting action set pieces, but it also gives us the time to find out a lot more information about the word before the events in Barricade. Steeple is focused on a smaller geographical area than Barricade and this gives us a better understanding of what is left of the human population and the everyday world that they have to live in. Steeple has really left me wondering what chaos Kenstibec will bring to the third book and Jon Wallace’s imagination has shown me that if the sky’s the limit, Kenstibec will find a way to bust through it.
This Steeple book review was written by Michelle Herbert
All reviews for: Kenstibec
I found Barricade to be a fast-paced action adventure, full of dilemmas that need to be overcome. The book left me with many questions, two of which were: Why is there alwa...
Kenstibec is a Ficial - a genetically engineered artificial life form; tough, skilled, hard to kill. Or at least he was. He's lost the nanotech that constantly repaired...
‘My nanotech is dead. By definition I am no longer Ficial. On the other hand I don't experience your emotions. That makes me inhuman. Like I said: neither one nor...
Have you read Steeple?
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.
Steeple reader reviews
9/10 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
A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothi...
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag...
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun...
Oryx and Crake
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo...
Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the Pres...
The Last Man Standing
Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo wa...
The Drowned World
Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows ...
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
John Joseph Adams
Famine, death, war, pestilence. These are said to be the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse-Armageddon. The End of the World. Whether by nuclear warfare, a biological di...
The Crystal World
Through a ‘leaking’ of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering ski...
Emily St John Mandel
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whil...
An illness spreads through an unnamed city. It has only one symptom: blindness. It comes without fanfare, pain, or warning. One moment a man waits in his car at the traffic...
The Reapers are the Angels
God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe... Older than her years and completely alone, Temp...
Legends of the Red Sun
Mark Charan Newton
An ice age strikes a chain of islands, and thousands come to seek sanctuary at the gates of Villjamur. It’s a city of ancient spires and bridges, a place where banshe...
The Return Man
The outbreak tore the USA in two. The east remains a safe haven. The west has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it the Evacuated States. It is here that Henry Marco ma...
A modern Britain. An age-old cruelty. Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
What are Strungballs? Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out... but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believ...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, a...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...
While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient...
The Ninth Rain
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the real...
The Court of Broken Knives
Anna Smith Spark
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we pi...
With Blood Upon the Sand
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further t...