In the Seraphim City tells of a city experiencing uncontrolled growth and success - until it collapses upon itself to leave its creators, the Alchemists, despised for encouraging the city to grow beyond its optimum levels. Society is stratified in this broken hive, and only one man will prove able to bridge lives and worlds to heal a goliath that has grown unwieldy and no longer works.
That's the rough outline of the premise of In the Seraphim City: now for the meat. It's packed with a diverse range of protagonists; some of them compelling, others tertiary adjuncts to the action. And it's also packed with genre-crossing methods which inject a crime and mystery elements into what appears to be a straightforward sci-fi read about a dysfunctional future society.
Darkly compelling, In the Seraphim City presents its world through the eyes of one Theodore Donovan, perhaps the only individual able to truly grasp the nuances of his world. That this approach is honed through evocative, compelling descriptions that blend action with the sights, smells and sounds of another universe is testimony to Dahll-Larssøn's ability to create a story line that sings to its readers.
Power plays and villains who may have logical motivations for murder, possibilities of perps who are immersed in a corrupt political system, and larger questions of spiritual rationales for murder and manipulation: these are just a few of the devices employed to bring the story to life.
Fans of sci-fi, fantasy and mystery shouldn't anticipate the usual genre read, with so much going on: indeed, its complexity isn't recommended for the 'light reader' who just wants casual entertainment; but for enthusiasts of stories that challenge the mind and invite reflection, even injecting a dose of romance into the bigger picture of a City and its individuals challenged by the very status quo they've created and lived by.