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The Buried Life – Music from The Buried Life by @Carrie_Patel #review

So many good books, so little time. I read two back to back which Angry Robots released for their Netgalley readers the same day, back to back. This one, The Buried Lifeand Some Fine Day (read my review from earlier this month HERE). I seriously just tore through these books they were so wonderful. I want it noted I could have written a 15 page abstract and analytic paper on this, deconstructing it and bringing up sociological aspects etc etc, but honestly, go forth and freaking discover this amazing read. Angry Robots has not let me down ONCE EVER in books … amazing get it for pre-order today!!

The-Buried-LIfe-Review-and-Playlist Blog-Headlines-about-the-bookThe Buried Life – Music from The Buried Life by @Carrie_Patel #reviewThe Buried Life
Series: The Buried Life #1
by Carrie Patel
Pages: 336
Published by Angry Robot
on July 29, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Mystery, Science, Thrillers
Source & Buy Links: NetGalley
Amazon • • Goodreads •

The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Recoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.

When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…

File Under: Science Fantasy [ Thriller | Society in Ruins | Fully Booked | New and Weird ]
  • Cover by John Coulthart
  • First in a new series starring two brilliantly-realised female protagonists in a wonderful fantasy setting.
  • A fresh new voice, at the start of a glittering career.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



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1. “Australia” by the Shins – I had to list this one first because it’s way too lively to listen to while writing, but it’s perfect for getting pumped before a scribbling session. It’s fun and upbeat and filled with a cheeky yet genuine “follow your dreams” message.

2. “Darker” by Doves – Doves write so many textured, atmospheric songs that it would be really easy for me just to list ten more by them Their first three albums in particular have an early Coldplay vibe, and the mellow, echo-y sound makes for a great writing background–you can lose yourself in the atmosphere. “Darker” is one of my favorites. It’s all of the above with a bit of an edge. I particularly like it when I’m writing scenes with Roman, a character who fits the aesthetic of the song pretty well.

3. “Mouth’s Cradle” by Björk – Medúlla is currently one of my favorite albums for writing. It’s by turns subdued and ethereal, and because the songs aren’t built around hooks, they also fade into the background nicely. “Mouth’s Cradle” is my favorite. The chorus in the background sounds like it’s slowly building toward something grand but ominous, which is perfect for The Buried Life for reasons I can’t quite say….

4. “Rebel Prince” by Rufus Wainwright – The lyrics refer to waiting for someone, but this song always evokes a search for me. It gets me in the mindset of Inspectors Malone and Sundar, prowling for leads and plotting their next moves as the situation around them seems to grow more and more futile.

5. “Caramel” by Suzanne Vega – It’s brooding and lovely and regretful, and it’s all about forbidden desire. This song reminds me of Jane and the vulnerable position in which she finds herself.

6. “Robbery, Assault & Battery” by Genesis – Genesis is one of my dad’s favorite bands, so I heard it a lot growing up. At some point I went back to it, particularly the stuff from the Peter Gabriel and early Phil Collins eras. This song stuck out to me when I was writing the first draft of The Buried Life–it’s about this murderous, creeping burglar, and it has a very dark sense of fun. It jibes with the hunt for the elusive killer in the book.

7. “Don’t Whisper Lies” by Astaire/Blondfire – It’s downtempo and mellow, and for some reason, I start with it more than anything else when I’m firing up my writing playlist. It also refers to something uncertain and mysterious, so it evokes the characters’ situations.

8. “Vuelvo Al Sur” by Gotan Project – I started developing The Buried Life on a study trip in Argentina, so no playlist would be complete without a dash of tango! Gotan Project’s music is fusion rather than traditional tango, but it’s whimsical and romantic in a way that reminds me of Buenos Aires, nighttime streets, and the gorgeous Recoleta Cemetery, all of which provided a lot of inspiration for the book.

9. “Motiveless Crime” by South – The events of the novel are set in motion by a crime that Malone and Sundar don’t quite understand, and their search for answers becomes increasingly dangerous and complex. There’s a restless, desperate energy to this song that fits the tone of their investigation. (not on player)

10. “Spiders and Flies” by Mercury Rev – This is a lovely but bittersweet song about the unforeseen consequences of grand schemes and the inevitable tendency of time to cover all things. Many of the characters in the book have a particular fascination with (or fear of) history, and their efforts to reveal or conceal it have shaped the world they live in.

Short and Sweet Review


What Angry Robot Books says: “The Buried Life, a fantastical mystery for fans of Cherie Priest and China Miéville.” Oh yes… indeed but I liked this oh so much! Another home run for Angry Robot. A steampunk dystopia with a dark and bleak message. No matter how much you hide your past it will only continue to ruin your future. Much like a ruling class tale straight out of Victorian England the subtle steampunk flavors add to the alternative future in The Buried Life… or could it be really be possible?

In this story, The books on history and everything else being controlled to keep people safe from destroying the world not so far in the past which by destroying the civilization and world around them is typical dystopian-message but the Buried Life with it’s incredible world building and the solidly built characters are so interesting it ramped it all up to the ‘nth degree!

It had mystery, mayhem, revolution, hope, despair, dreamers and love.. It has a hopeful ending, but one you can see the bleakness and darkness seeping in, just like living below the surface with artificial lighting and the inability to … well you must read the book to see!

I cannot wait till next year for the next in the installment! This was another four hours of reading till the sun rose and with it being so bloody good, I was not sad it was over, well I was but when I tweeted to the author she said the next one is already up and coming. Many times I am but this book just made me feel good and knowing another one was coming… I have been chanting…

..patience.. I can have patience..

10 out of 10

I rarely give a book a perfect rating of my 10 star ratings, maybe 9.5 out of 10… and yes I do rate books 5’s but most of the time I do 4.5 and rate them 5’s on Amazon as 5’s, but never a straight up 10. The reason why is The Buried Life had everything it needed, no more and no less. It made me feel complete upon finishing it, even though it is a series book. It answered questions, gave me insight, made me part of it. This to me is the epitome of the perfect book. Funny, I told the hubster, Geoff that it would be the perfect video game I would want to play. Seriously could see it in my mind’s eye.. only to find out she works for Obsidian Gaming as a narrative designer… (Pssssssst Carrie, he wanted me to tell you (and he is speaking loudly at me so I get this right) again Alpha Protocol was an awesome title .. sorry this is a note to the author from Geoff).

What makes a perfect book for you?


About Carrie Patel

Carrie Patel was born and raised in Houston, Texas. An avid traveller, she studied abroad in Granada, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University and worked in transfer pricing at Ernst & Young for two years. She now works as a narrative designer at Obsidian Entertainment in Irvine, California, where the only season is Always Perfect.

Thank you YET again Angry Robot Books! And thank you Carrie!ANGRY-ROBOT

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