The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

A book in 10 instalmentsBlether started life as a book review site back in 1999, and stayed that way until the summer of 2005. During that time I established a lot of contacts with publishers, authors and readers, and I still get offered books for review on a regular basis. Although I'm working on a new book related site (details coming soon), I've been politely declining these offers. Until now.

In an unnamed city, an heiress, a killer, and a spy forge an unlikely alliance against a perilous conspiracy employing unnatural science and raw sensuality to colonize the very imaginations of their victims. THE GLASS BOOKS OF THE DREAM EATERS is an epic genre-defying mystery-science-fiction-adventure, an exuberant return to the classic, and classically lurid, penny dreadfuls of the 19th century, but spun with a wickedly modern sensibility. A scrupulously realized Victorian world is the setting for a contemporary rollercoaster of action, suspense, and richly fevered dreams.

A few weeks back I was contacted by Penguin to ask if I was interested in reviewing The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. When I read the synopsis I was immediately hooked, and knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. The novelty of receiving a book by instalments, the promise of high Victorian adventure, the beautifully presented website (external link) - all these things promised a unique reading experience.

So I'm signed up, have the first issue in my possession (electronically, I look forward to getting my hands on the real thing in October), and will start reading tonight. There will be ten weekly issues in all, starting on 16th October, and the print run is limited to 5,000, so if you want to subscribe and join Miss Temple, Cardinal Chang, Dr. Svenson and my good self in this adventure head over to the official website (external link) (requires Flash, for more accessible information see the Penguin Books site (external link)) by 6th October and cough up your £25. A full review will follow when we reach the end, and I can't rule out the occasional effusive post here.


Yes it does look very good indeed and a damn fine website to boot. Just need to spend a day or two justifying the price. But a book like that in regular instalments... very tempting...

Posted by: Stephen at September 28, 2006 8:42 PM

Well, if you decide you need any reviewers for your book review site, give me a shout. I'm never shy in sharing my opinions :-)

Posted by: JackP at September 29, 2006 9:19 AM

At the very least a future e-bay investment methinks! But I like the whole installment idea...would be a brilliant way to get kids into reading..the excitiment of getting the next edition etc - imagine Harry Potter done this way instead of in (incredibly overrated) door stop size editions!

Posted by: Northshore at September 29, 2006 10:26 AM

Sounds intriguing, I'll give it a shot - but isn't the idea to convince us to buy the book after the review? ;)

Posted by: Karl at September 29, 2006 11:46 AM

@Northshore: The biggest criticism of the book from the reviews I've read from the US, where it's been available as a single volume for a while, is its length. I suspect it will work much better in the weekly serial format, and agree that for kids it would be a brilliant way of engaging.

@Karl: Normally, yes. If you can wait a day or two I'll post my thoughts on the first chapter, if you're impatient I can tell you that the first few pages weren't bad at all!

Posted by: Dan at September 29, 2006 12:02 PM

Book reviewer? That sounds like fun. I love to digest books. I had no idea you used to do that before and that's what this site to be. Cool.

Posted by: Mike Cherim at October 1, 2006 10:02 PM

So this new book site has a name?

Posted by: Blair Millen at October 2, 2006 8:37 AM

@Mike: The old review site is still available at, but be warned the code and mark-up at circa 2001, with all the attendant horrors that brings!

@Blair: Yes, it has a name, to be revealed soon'ish, at which point you'll be able to register for progress updates and/or volunteer as an early tester.

Posted by: Dan at October 2, 2006 8:51 AM

Got the first book today. Must say the overall design and feel of the book is fantastic. Great idea to send it out in weekly instalments as well. Just hope I have the time to read it before the next one arrives

Posted by: Andy Field at October 18, 2006 9:52 AM

Andy, I got hooked by the first installment and read it in no time, so I'm sure you'll have no trouble. Sadly my real copy hasn't arrived (I had a PDF), so I'm pestering the subs department. I'll be gutted if I miss the second book. :-(

Posted by: Dan at October 19, 2006 2:45 PM

As a PS, I did decide to buy this in the end. My first instalment arrived today. I'll be settling down to it later...

Posted by: Stephen at October 19, 2006 8:33 PM

Yay, got mine today, happy bunny. :-)

Posted by: Dan at October 20, 2006 9:17 AM

Having read the first two installments, I'm definitely hooked. The story is gripping.

But the attempt at a 19th-century writing style is only partly successful. Phrases along the lines of 'it was like she was somewhere else' rather than '...was as if she were...' are too modern to sustain the illusion

Posted by: David at October 24, 2006 10:17 PM

Great book! Just finished it. Unlike anything I've ever read. Is he writing a sequel?

Posted by: Terri at March 14, 2007 2:36 PM

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