It occurs to me that while I have been tweeting and Facebooking about this book for about a month now, the only place I’ve ever really explained why I liked it so much is on Amazon, as a review. This is a bit of a chicken and the egg conundrum. If you aren’t drawn to Amazon in the first place you won’t see my review and the several other extremely positive reviews that are there. So, I thought I would go into a bit more detail here about why I have been recommending this book all over the place.
I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite books are the ones where as soon as I started reading, I felt like I was immersed in the world I had just entered. For example, the opening pages of Lord of the Rings pull you in immediately with the description of hobbits. What are these hobbits now? What do they have to do with this ring thing? Before you know it you’ve read 500 pages and can’t stop. The Peacemakers had this impact on me. The description of the setting is one thing, but then you also meet this fellow named Harbert, who kind of seems like a weenie to begin with. He’s nervous, he’s seasick, he’s sort of intimidated by everything, it seems like. Is this guy going to be a main character? Who are these other characters he’s interfacing with? Pretty soon you are Harbert’s travel companion, not an onlooker.
Characters you want to reach out and touch
Part of this feeling of transportation is that all of the characters in The Peacemakers are three-dimensional. You very much feel, very quickly, that you are reading about real people who are just over the horizon. If you could travel right now, you could shake their hands (or give them hugs, which you find yourself wanting to do quite often). Although the characters are deep, they are not fantastical. In fact, the great strength of the characters in Olivier’s writing is that they seem entirely real, so everything they go through (which is quite a lot, let me say) seems more like it could happen to you. You find yourself thinking, “Man, if that happened to me I’d probably…” and then you find the characters doing just that, or perhaps the entire opposite. You will find that even the most seemingly minor characters are taken care of with love in this book. In fact, one of my favorite characters only appears for a few pages (unfortunately). He makes such an impression, however, that I wish there was a whole book just about him, and in fact, I could picture just such a book being written about this one fellow.
No one genre
Some authors are very insistent on sticky to one specific genre or style. Although the writing style remains consistent and even (and rich like fudge), fans of many different kinds of genres will find joy with this book. It’s versatile and flexible in that way. I am a 100% diagnosed history buff, so I had a field day with the book. Fans of the Steampunk genre will love this book. Fans of romance and adventure have things to look forward to. Fans of sci-fi have something here to enjoy. Although overall the most probable best classification for The Peacemakers is Steampunk, I would definitely hesitate to limit it just that one genre.
Speaking of the writing that is rich like fudge, the writing is rich like fudge. If you are a fan of Fitzgerald, for example, you will really appreciate the gift for language that is displayed here. That’s not to say that the book gets entangled in trying to find just the right word – sometimes you can feel the tension as the author strives to place everything just so. In this book the language seems natural, just not the way we usually speak in our every-day lives.
You won’t want to put it down
Finally, if you are a fan of books that you actually can’t put down except maybe when you need to eat or sleep, this is the perfect book for you. If you have a long plane ride scheduled this book will help the time fly by (pardon the pun). Part of the problem is that Olivier, much like John Irving, knows how to sneak in those foreshadowing clues for added suspense. But even without those, you become so enmeshed in what has already happened to the characters and what might happen next that you just can’t help yourself. This makes waiting for part two of the trilogy acutely painful, by the way.
Right now, you can get instant gratification. You can go to Amazon (not an affiliate link) and download this masterpiece to your Kindle right now. As I write this it’s a Saturday, a rather good day to start an awesome reading experience.
In case you hadn’t noticed – I highly recommend you proceed doing just that 🙂