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“The laws of Smoke are complex. Not every lie will trigger it. A fleeting thought of evil may pass unseen; a fib, an excuse, a piece of flattery. Next thing you know its smell is in your nose. There is no more hateful smell in the world than the smell of Smoke.”

England. A century ago, give or take a few years.

An England where people who are wicked in thought or deed are marked by the Smoke that pours forth from their bodies, a sign of their fallen state. The aristocracy do not smoke, proof of their virtue and right to rule, while the lower classes are drenched in sin and soot. An England utterly strange and utterly real.

An elite boarding school where the sons of the wealthy are groomed to take power as their birthright. Teachers with mysterious ties to warring political factions at the highest levels of government. Three young people who learn everything they’ve been taught is a lie - knowledge that could cost them their lives. A grand estate where secrets lurk in attic rooms and hidden laboratories. A love triangle. A desperate chase. Revolutionaries and secret police. Religious fanatics and coldhearted scientists. Murder. A London filled with danger and wonder. A tortured relationship between a mother and a daughter, and a mother and a son. Unexpected villains and unexpected heroes. Cool reason versus passion. Rich versus poor. Right versus wrong, though which is which isn’t clear.

This is the world of Smoke, a narrative tour de force, a tale of Dickensian intricacy and ferocious imaginative power, richly atmospheric and intensely suspenseful.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Smoke By Dan Vyleta

Critical Praise

“Smoke is well worth reading. Vyleta has woven a powerful fictional spell, creating both an entire world (as believable as it is incredible) and a richly crafted cast of characters. It’s a unique and unforgettable, reading experience.” —National Post

“Vyleta writes with intricacy and imagination and skillful pacing; never once would I have considered putting his book down.” —The New York Times

“Vice is made visual in Vyleta’s sprawling, ambitious novel, a Dickensian tale tinged with fantasy . . . which Vyleta reveals with lovely, visceral prose and expert pacing. (A-)” —Entertainment Weekly

“In Vyleta’s alternate-history 19th-century Britain, evil thoughts and wicked deeds are exuded from the body in a black cloud—an intriguing conceit that lingers in the imagination long after the novel is finished.” —The Guardian

“Smoke is one of the most original and enthralling books I have read in a long time. . . The book is absolutely stunning. Smoke is an addictive combination of thriller, fantasy, and historical novel, with a dash of horror. It’s chilling and complex and amazingly imaginative.” —Shelf Awareness

“Full of otherworldly adventure yet chilling in its realism, Smoke lures readers into considering these questions about society and ourselves.” —Booklist (starred review)

“The novel’s sumptuous, irresistible narrative--filled with plenty of twists and turns and imagination--will satisfy any reader. A terrific, suspenseful tale.” —Kirkus Reviews

“It’s noir meets Gothic—a thrilling tale of war crimes, family secrets, murder and blackmail.” —The Independent

“A fiercely inventive novel set in a late Victorian Britain at once recognizable and intricately transformed. . . . Vyleta’s bold concept and compelling blend of history and fantasy offer a provocative reflection on the nature of evil, power, belief, and love.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Mesmerising and imaginative . . . a novel that tackles the most fundamental question of good versus evil.” —The Observer

“Dan Vyleta has conjured a rich and surprising counterhistory, an England saturated with a substance so potent and evocative it vaults instantly into the pantheon that includes the dust of Philip Pullman, the soma of Aldous Huxley, and the opium of Amitav Ghosh. Smoke is thrilling.” —Robin Sloan, bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

“Original and enthralling.” —Good Housekeeping, UK

“Astonishing . . . filling in the gaping hole left by both Harry Potter and Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights. Yes, really.” —Stylist (UK)

“A novel that stays in the imagination long after it is read.” —The Guardian

“JK Rowling meets Charles Dickens.” —Metro

“A vivid, imaginative and gripping fantasy thriller.” —SciFi Now

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443440677
  • ISBN 10: 1443440671
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 05/24/2016
  • Pages: 448
  • List Price: 29.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Fantasy / General
  • BISAC3: FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense

Smoke by Dan Vyleta

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