“All The Galaxies” by Philip Miller”

All the Galaxies
Some time in the near future, after another failed referendum on independence, Scotland is torn apart by seemingly senseless violence. Meanwhile, a boy finds himself exploring the planets of the dead in his own post-life body, with his faithful childhood dog companion at his side.

“All The Galaxies” defies genre distinctions. It’s one part gritty thriller, set against the backdrop of Glasgow and Edinburgh, kind of like a futuristic Ian Rankin novel. And then it’s another part the story of a failed marriage and adult (self) disillusionment and disappointment, and a third part a gloriously surreal young adult fantasy tale interwoven with themes and imagery taken from the Gospels and Revelation, somehow reminiscent of “A Wrinkle in Time” and the books in that series.

Which is not to say that this is a story for children. The writing style is dense and poetic, so that, while it’s a short book, it’s not necessarily a quick read. This is not a criticism, but rather a notice that readers should not jump into this book thinking it will be a quick evening’s entertainment. Although the book is full of brilliant imagery and sharply delineated characters, the complex plot and the intensely literary style demand the reader’s full attention. Readers looking for light and fluffy escapism should steer themselves elsewhere. However, for readers looking for something a bit different, something that will provide a tough, chewy, and memorable reading experience, “All The Galaxies” may be just what they are looking for.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Get it here: All the Galaxies

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