ARC Review: The Peace Machine by Oezguer Mumcu

NB- I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own


This cover is fantastic, it’s intriguing and beautiful and genuinely one of the reasons I requested this book

A thrilling historical adventure story from Turkey’s most daring young voice

We’ll create a machine. A peace machine that will put an end to all wars.

As the twentieth century dawns the world stands on the brink of yet another bloody war. But what if conflict were not inevitable? What if a machine could exploit the latest developments in electromagnetic science to influence people’s minds? And what if such a machine could put an end to violence for ever?

The search for the answer to these questions will lead our hero Celal away from his unassuming life as an Istanbul-based writer of erotic fiction, and on a quest across a continent stumbling headlong towards disaster, from Istanbul to Paris and Belgrade, as he struggles to uncover the mystery of The Peace Machine before time runs out for humanity.

I did not enjoy this book. The premise of the story was intriguing, but the method of narration was not one I enjoyed. Almost all of the action in this novel was told in retrospect, and from such a distance that it was really hard to care, even if the development was a significant one.

The plot was confusing and jumped around a lot, and the characters in this novel (while intriguing!) were hard to connect with. The story at times reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest (and there was a reference within the novel that made me think this was deliberate), however, the lack of character motivation made The Peace Machine fall flat for me.

Celine was an intriguing character, and various settings throughout the novel (notably the circus) could have been amazing opportunities to have the characters interact with each other in compelling ways; however, these opportunities were largely squandered.

Even Dragan was an intriguing character, and I loved that the author didn’t shy away from having a male character that was a hopeless romantic. The abrupt way in which Dragan was introduced, and also the way in which he concluded his character arc, was just confusing however.

The conclusion was abrupt and vague, and there was more than one occasion where I wanted to skip paragraphs of repetitive, pseudo-poetic imagery to get to the point, quite often to find that there wasn’t one.

The world building in The Peace Machine was likewise a bit of a mess. The idea of magnetic mountains and Celal’s mysterious strength never really came into play, and while the idea of electro-magnetic souls was a fascinating one, it was never truly explained or exploited to good effect within the novel.

All in all, while there were aspects of this book that definitely appealed to me, and I’m not opposed to an overly verbose cast, The Peace Machine was just too hard to get engrossed in for me to be able to recommend it to anyone.

This book releases on the 22nd of September, 2020, and I’ll post a reminder on that date as well.


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