River of smoke by Amitav Ghosh

I’ve been waiting for the sequel to the excellent Sea of Poppies for some time. What a pity it’s a shocker. Over 500 pages that read more like a history text book for year 10 students than a novel. Characters from the previous novel appear briefly early in the book, only to disappear out of site, or to become second fiddle to some new and really boring ones. It was a real effort to get through this, the only thing sustaining me was the thought that something was going to happen. Something does, but it is so lacking in drama it turns a turning point in the history of imperialism into something as exciting as a local council festival. Hopefully this is all part of a build up to an amazing last volume of the trilogy. But Amitav, hide those textbooks! 40/100


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