Imagine a world in which every bad thought you had was made visible…
By Dan Vyleta
'JK Rowling meets Charles Dickens' Metro. Imagine a world in which your sin is visible.... addictive and intoxicating, SMOKE is a Dickensian, thrilling, rich novel for fans of PHILIP PULLMAN, THE SECRET HISTORY and THE SHADOW OF THE WIND.
Imagine a world in which every bad thought you had was made visible. Where anger, hatred and envy appeared as a thick, infectious smoke pouring from your body, leaving soot on your skin. A society controlled by an elite who have learned to master their darkest desires.
Thomas and Charlie are friends at a boarding school near Oxford, where the children of the rich and powerful are trained to be future leaders. Charlie is naturally good, but Thomas's father was accused of a terrible crime, and Thomas fears that the same evil lies coiled inside him. Then, on a trip to London - a forbidden city shrouded in darkness - they learn all is not as it appears. So begins a quest to understand the truth about this world of smoke, soot and ash - and perhaps to change it.
'Mesmerising and imaginative ... a novel that tackles the most fundamental question of good versus evil' Hannah Beckerman, Observer
'Like an adult version of the Harry Potter books with a touch of Dickensian dystopia ...a sheer delight' Maxim Jakubowski, Lovereading
'A novel that stays in the imagination long after it is read' Adam Roberts, Guardian
Dan Vyleta is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. After growing up in Germany, he left to attend university in the UK where he completed a PhD in History at King's College, Cambridge. His debut novel, Pavel & I, gathered immediate international acclaim and was translated into eight languages. His second novel, The Quiet Twin, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and his third, The Crooked Maid, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the J.I Segal Award. He lives in Stratford-upon-Avon.
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- Publication date:
06 Apr 2017
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For once both comparisons (with Harry Potter and Philip Pullman's Northern Lights) are apt . . . this is a novel that stays in the imagination long after it is read — THE GUARDIAN
Mesmerising and imaginative . . . Smoke is at once profound, moving and timely: a novel that tackles the most fundamental question of good versus evil — Hannah Beckerman, THE OBSERVER
Astonishing . . . it's filling in that gaping hole left by both Harry Potter and Philip Pullman's Northern Lights. Yes, really — Stylist
Its subtle touches mean the story takes on a world of its own . . . you'll wonder why no one has seen smoke this way before — EMERALD STREET
It's detailed, multi-layered and feels authentic - and might just win over historical fiction fans too — THE POOL
a great work of imagination — Cathy Rentzenbrink, STYLIST.CO.UK
Potter-esque comparisons will be made (with some Dickensian England thrown in) of the richness and intricacy of Vyleta's world — STYLIST
Original and enthralling — GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
Books to look out for in 2016 — NEW STATESMAN
a vivid, imaginative and gripping fantasy thriller — SCIFI NOW