This book pulled me in fast, and it'll probably pull you in too if you're enough like me that you're reading my book reviews -- that is, a fan, a geek...moreThis book pulled me in fast, and it'll probably pull you in too if you're enough like me that you're reading my book reviews -- that is, a fan, a geek, or at the very least some variety of nerd. It slows a little in the middle as we begin branching out to follow other, stranger characters, but it pulls together and starts rushing forward again soon enough. Every section is written in first person, but we follow a variety of people, some of them mercifully briefly when they narrate in heavy dialogue (it was saved from being awful by the sheer chutzpah of oh yes, he's going to take this to its horrifyingly logical conclusion, really and truly); many of the sections are preceded by mock-RPG character sheets (fear not any roll-the-numbers scenario with stats like "wisdom: fortune cookie +8, experiential -2" or "shit points, give/take: +3000/0"). All of the characters had a certain something that made them interesting and memorable, including the bad guys, but I was definitely with Hamza and his fanpair Yehat the whole way down, rejoicing to see characters so much like me leading in an adventure story -- which might seem odd on the face of it, as I'm neither Black, male, Canadian, underemployed, single, nor heterosexual, but was instead quite straightforward as it felt like Hamza and Yehat and I approached these identity points with the same attitudes and that is how the identification actually happened, even beyond the huge common point of fannish geekiness -- and also to see characters who are so close and yet so very far from me (these would be the Fanboys) get...well, I won't spoil it, but I think you know what I mean.
This isn't a particularly easy book to put down and pick up, but once I settled down with it it wasn't a hard book, although I had to pause for contemplation of the sheer awesome occasionally. I won't give away the ending except to say that it was not what I expected but it was what I wanted. Oh, it absolutely was, in all sorts of fantastic ways.(less)
This book is just amazing; every time I re-read it I am just as invested in the characters, their growth, and their individual pieces of the whole sto...moreThis book is just amazing; every time I re-read it I am just as invested in the characters, their growth, and their individual pieces of the whole story as I was the very first time, if not more so. I would love for there to be more of this book, but at the same time I could never give up the perfect ending.
I'm also caught between the urge to do a thorough thematic review and talk about this story's use of gender, religion, memory, civilization, etc., and the urge to spoil you for nothing, so I will say no more today.(less)