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  1. The Gates of Noon - AbeBooks - Michael Scott Rohan:
  2. Book 1: The Congruent Apprentice
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Steve Fisher, an ordinary shipping agent, had taken that way once, had sailed the cloud archipelagoes on a desperate quest to Hispaniola. Or had he?

The Gates of Noon - AbeBooks - Michael Scott Rohan:

Was it only a dream? The memories have faded But now Steve is being blocked in every attempt to send vital life-saving technology to the beleaguered island paradise of Bali.

When he investigates, he finds himself catapulted back through the eerie gates of the Spiral, and into terrible danger. Something wants him stopped, at any cost. But that makes Steve all the more determined to use the Spiral for his own purposes.

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Entangled by old loves and ancient hatreds, pursued by vengeful priests and seductive witches, Steve must find help wherever he can — from Ape the warlock, the mighty Maori warrior and sheep expert Te Kiore, and the ancient but piratical Batang Sen, as well as the lovely but suspicious Jacquie. Pursued by weird beasts, dacoits, dwarfish demons and the original Bogeymen, Steve fights to reconcile past and present in an epic battle which leads him from deserted railway yards to the sleazy sex bars of Bangkok and the mist-shrouded islands of the South Seas Michael Scott Rohan was a Scottish fantasy and science fiction author and writer on opera.

He had a number of short stories published before his first books, the science fiction novel Run to the Stars and the non-fiction First Byte. He then collaborated with Allan J. Also another magician-type, although Ape is nothing like Le Stryge, which is about the best that Stephen can hope for. Cue adventures. As with Chase , many of the awesome things I remembered are indeed still present. I love Rohan's descriptions of battles, and also his evocation of sailing - be it on seas or stranger tides.

The very idea is still utterly captivating - sailing into the dawn or dusk, into the clouds! Actually, perhaps they're closer to Platonic ideals, since they capture what is and was and will be; the essential nature of a place, even if never actually existed anywhere but in the imagination of very many people.

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And the idea of moving out into the Spiral as somehow refining people, as well as places, is also a wonderful one for story. Also as with Chase , there are a couple of things that bugged me, and the main one was Stephen and his hang-ups. While the first book was mostly all "woe, I am a hollow man! He does, true enough, make some attempts at restitution - and he was pretty nasty, so maybe I should cut him some slack as his conscience actually teaches him a lesson.

But I didn't have to be subjected to everything going through his head every time; it could have been indicated with a sentence or two, easily enough, especially the fourth or fifth or tenth time. Also, bit of eye-rolling casual sexism. Irked me. It mostly does all right on the not-racist front - which, given it's set largely in South-East Asia, is a relief.

Book 1: The Congruent Apprentice

There are some bits where people's mannerisms or characteristics are referred to as 'oriental,' at which I cringed a little, but on reflection those things are not usually coded negatively so But the inherent desire of the book is to balance tradition and 'progress', and I cannot fault that. More than career, more than sex-as-an-end, more than selfishness. Stephen finds that in action, but also in helping others; Mall and Jyp and others find it in becoming, and doing, what they are meant to be.

It's a worthy aspiration.

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Is it very different from Chase? Well, the intention of the adventure is different, and Stephen doesn't have to go through all the rooky, learning-to-be-on-the-Spiral stuff, so things happen a bit more immediately. There's more sexual tension; there's also more at stake, which I think made it work as a sequel.

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If it had been yet another "save that girl!! Plus, quite different places and different villains, which is great. The Suck Fairy has been kind. Nov 26, Arun rated it it was amazing. The follow up to the amazing Chase the morning follows Steve and his adventures into the spiral, this time in East Asia, with delivering a container to Bali. Muddled with the activity are the past that hangs on a thread, under threat from western influence, ancient system of water sharing and characters from Ramayan coming alive.

Great read.

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Dec 06, Alexey rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed , solo-protagonist , character-driven. I don't know why, maybe I've read it too quickly after the first book but it seems like there's a bit less magic in the second book. Spiral is still as dazzling as ever though and there're fascinating undercurrents in the story.

click here Defenestrate reason: Two copies in a box! View 1 comment. Should never have started this book. A totally worthless Fantasy book. It should only be read by those with a special reason to do so.

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May 20, Claudiu marked it as to-read. I registered a book at BookCrossing. Sep 27, Franklin Gates rated it really liked it. PArt of a trilogy, all excellent. You can wander into the spiral anywhere. A beautiful fantasy story, a parable about development in the third world, a violent action filled magical adventure.

K Zinn rated it it was amazing Oct 06, Jon rated it really liked it Oct 18, Robert Quigley rated it really liked it Apr 22, Michiel rated it did not like it Jan 03, Louisxiv rated it really liked it Dec 17, Dami Damiellar rated it liked it Sep 24, David Dubrow rated it it was ok Mar 18, Chris DeBoe rated it really liked it Apr 29, Vicki rated it it was amazing Feb 04, Mr What? David Elliott rated it really liked it Mar 09, Steve French rated it really liked it Mar 13, Lirio Dendron rated it it was ok Jul 14, Graeme Smith rated it really liked it Nov 23, Jinjifore rated it liked it Mar 02, Daniel Brown rated it really liked it Dec 05, Jonathan rated it really liked it Apr 10,