Review: Roil by Trent Jamieson
Reviewed by Liz Grzyb
Roil is set in a dystopian world where the Roil, an evil force thriving on darkness and heat, is advancing. It is told from multiple perspectives, centring around Margaret Penn, daughter of Engineers in Tate in the south, and David, son of one of the politicians of Mirrlees to the north. Those who enjoy harrowing apocalyptic stories will enjoy Roil, although at times I found it a little too dark for my taste.
The first few chapters are confusing and difficult to get into, as the reader is thrown into the story in the deep end and introduced to many different characters and perspectives. It takes a while to find out what this mysterious Roil is and what kind of a threat it is, but once the story settles and we have enough back-story, the characters and plot are engaging and carry the reader along.
Jamieson is an excellent writer, creating compelling yet flawed characters in his novels and short fiction. Roil is no different in this respect. David and Margaret are both interesting protagonists, and the alternating perspective, while initially disconcerting, works well to integrate the threads of story.
The novel brings together elements of dystopian science fiction, fantasy and a touch of steampunk to create a gripping story.