by Seb Doubinsky
A book review by weird speculative fiction writer Ted Fauster
Fans of the French poet and writer Sebastien Doubinsky will not be disappointed by his return to New Babylon city. This fast-paced and intriguing dystopian noir novel is the next installment in the city-states series. It follows a familiar and reluctant hero, one Georg Ratner, now city commissioner, who becomes entangled in a murderous plot to sway the next presidential election. To complicate matters, the drug Synth makes another appearance, leading Ratner down a rabbit hole that draws him one step closer to discovering its true source. This time, however, he has some help from a secret society known as the Egregorians .
Doubinsky’s city-states series is ominous and dreary, as any good dystopian noir story should be. This installment builds on the mystique, adding an additional layer of smoky allure. Trust me, you’ll need a cigarette and a stiff whisky by the end.
Impeccably packaged by Meerkat Press, each section of the book is prefaced with beautifully rendered tarot card woodcuts. This thoughtful addition enhances the dark seasoning of the novel, amplifying its otherworldly influence.
What I found especially appealing was the use of the dramatic theme of what exactly the invisible is. Without giving anything away, pay attention. There’s more than one definition, each carrying an equal amount of worth and weight.
In the typical cut-up style Doubinsky has become known for, each scene is short and precise, like stabs from a knife. They puncture and poison, allowing you to rapidly digest the narrative while filling your veins with the stuff your brain requires to be treated to a trip into the weird and mind-bending worlds Doubinsky is so powerfully capable of producing. A very satisfying read with an ending that leaves you salivating for more.
If this book is not on your to-read list, put it there. And maybe bump it up a few notches.
THE INVISIBLE will be available May 19th of 2020 from Meerkat Press