The Chimes by Anna Smaill is an intoxicating novel that can definitely be considered challenging to put down. Often it can be difficult to be immersed into an author’s fictional created era of time, however, Smaill displays her capability of producing transfixing imagery, allowing the reader to view the world she has created in the novel.
Smaill sets her story throughout places in England, in a time when reading and writing is no longer done in words, but in music. Smaill has stuck true to the theme of music throughout the whole novel by including the use of musical language and terms, for example, using the word “subito” instead of suddenly, and using the word “presto” instead of fast or quickly, creating a different yet unique and admirable use of language for the readers to indulge in.
The Chimes – Anna Smaill’s debut novel — is a music lover’s dream: a dystopian world where the written word is all but abolished and music is the sole form of communication. Memories can only be remembered through objects, and memories of the past, before Allbreaking, are buried deep. The people are controlled by the Carillon, the ultimate instrument made of palladium – the Pale Lady.
Chimes is always different, and even after the thousands of times, I couldn’t venture to say what it’s like … It’s not painful exactly, but nor is it without pain.
Richly descriptive in all aspects of story-telling, Anna Smaill’s The Chimes is a stellar novel centring on our interaction with memory and the past through a post-apocalyptic musical world.
The two main characters, Lucien and Simon, meet in London and develop their talents throughout the novel – Lucien is blind and thus uses his hearing to guide him, and Simon has the ability to remember other people’s memories. Their adventure begins when they mentally overthrow The Order – the ruling group; meaning Simon can begin to remember his own memories without needing objects to aid him.