Suvudu has an exclusive look at the upcoming novel from Russian author Max Frei, The Stranger, which is garnering a fair bit of early buzz.
Once a self-described “classic loser” who, if it weren’t for bad luck, wouldn’t have any luck at all, Max is an insomniac who sleeps all day, a night owl in a world of larks, a social outcast and a glutton with nothing to show for himself but empty cigarette packs. At twenty-something, Max is never the early bird and he never gets the worm. Then one day he suddenly finds himself transplanted into an alternate dream universe in the city of Echo, summoned by the chief of the Secret Police. In this world, he is deemed a species of magical secret agent, is made a member of the Department of Absolute Order, and must solve unimaginably extravagant cases with his exceptional new powers. Fate smiles on Max in the city of Echo, where everything that happens to him happens for a reason, and the one-time slacker is known reverently as the “unequalled Sir Max.” As Max learns how to navigate through his bizarre new reality, he takes readers on the journey of a lifetime punctuated by incredible events and a cast of unforgettable characters.
In an additional twist of fantasy, the true author behind the endearing narrator of The Labyrinths of Echo series is revealed in reality as Russian writer Svetlana Martynchik. In the hands of this literary ventriloquist, Max Frei comes alive in the tradition of Sergei Lukyanenko’s internationally bestselling Night Watch trilogy. Similarly sprawling, inventive, and destined for success, The Stranger is soon to become a favorite fixture in bookshelves all over the world.
If Harry Potter smoked cigarettes and took a certain matter-of-fact pleasure in administering tough justice, he might like Max Frei, the protagonist of this fantasy novel… Well-written, well-paced grown-up fantasy with a strong dose of reality.
You can find Chapter Four of the novel HERE.