Book reviews Book reviews
The Kingdom Beyond the Waves (2008) is the second book in Stephen Hunt's Jackelian series, which is set in a steampunk world with magic with countries loosely based on England and France and Arabia. As with the other books in the series The Kingdom Beyond the Waves is a non-stop roller coaster of ideas, like several adventures from other authors rolled into one. Characters from the farthest shores of the sea of imagination stalk its pages, twists and turns and revelations keep the poor reader bemused.

(For me when you've read one book in the Jackelian series you've read them all, but each book is well written. As another aside I think the author has written himself into the series as Commodore Black so as this character dies at the end of "Deep of the Dark" then the series has died too.)

To say The Kingdom Beyond the Waves has a plot is an understatement. It has several. The book is related from multiple character's viewpoints to entrance the reader even more. In brief it's about archaeologist Amelia Harsh's quest for ancient Camlantis, a place of long-lost wonders, and why when we find our dream it's not always what we expect. Even in the name Camlantis you can see how Hunt is inventively reforging millions of influences and ideas and names from history and fiction.

Everyone should read one book by Stephen Hunt as he is the best exponent of this kind of writing I've yet come across. I like The Kingdom Beyond the Waves the most out of his books. The parts of Hunt's books are brilliant - but the whole is less than the sum of the parts.