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A Perfect Machine by Brett Savory. Book Review

February 17, 2017


Henry Kyllo is a Runner in a secret society the Inferne Cutis, which means that every day he is chased by Hunters who attempt to shoot him. Every so often, when a Runner reaches a critical number of bullets in their body they are supposed to ascend. No one is quite sure whether this is the truth or merely a myth. Until it happens to Henry.

Brett Savory’s prose is excellent, the dialogue crisp and urgent. The opening sequence of Henry being chased by the Hunters and his subsequent coming round and reorientation in hospital takes the reader right into the heart of Henry’s strange life.

His is an existence which almost runs parallel to that of the normal world because, unless the people outside his secret society have frequent exposure to them their memory of the Hunters and Runners fades quickly. The idea that this kind of activity could go on under the radar of the rest of the world carrying on with its business is certainly an interesting one, particularly as accidents happen and civilians can get caught in the Hunters crossfire.

That Henry is able to build a relationship with Faye (who is able to remember him because of the unique way they continue meeting) creates real poignancy to a plot which begins with great promise and continues to deliver for quite a way through the story.

However, there is a point during Henry’s transformation where the drive and mystery of the initial part of the story begins to slow, and a sense of the writing working through the plot to the end takes over. The end felt inevitable and did not carry the feeling of awe the built up to it implied.

But Brett Savory is an interesting writer who I would like to read more of.

A Perfect Machine was courtesy of Angry Robot via NetGalley

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