1. The way magic works in this world is described in ways I have never encountered before, and that is a RARE gift in fanI highly recommend this book.
1. The way magic works in this world is described in ways I have never encountered before, and that is a RARE gift in fantasy novels.
2. The prose is tight, and clean, and easy to read.
3. The characters all have entirely comprehensible motivations and reasons, and no-one ever carries the idiot stick just because the plot says so.
4. This is the best and more nuanced description of ally-ship I can remember encountering in fiction.
There are characters who begin with more power and privilege than other characters. And, along the way, more information comes forth about that power. And some characters move into being allies, and others do not.
And the WAY that shift is portrayed is subtle, and thoughtful, and understanding. At no point does the ally become the savior. At no point is the pain of the allies given more weight or more importance that the pain of the oppressed. But the allies are human, and their lives and experiences have meaning, and they are given chances to grow and change.
When they do change, they do so imperfectly. They screw up. They mean well, do their best, and screw up. But they go on. They continue to try to be better. They don't give up.
This is all, you understand, NOT the main point of the plot. The plot is about Jae and her experiences. But so often we get stories in which power is there only to be destroyed or suborned, and here we get a fully human look at all sides of the power imbalance -- while never privileging the strong.
It's a real triumph of writing.
If you have ever felt like you wanted to help someone, but you didn't want to screw up and you didn't want to get yelled at for trying, read this book. Be a better ally. Learn how to fail gracefully.
Toby knows she's not a good detective; she's just what the Fae have. There ARE rules, the rules eventually Things I like about the October Daye series:
Toby knows she's not a good detective; she's just what the Fae have. There ARE rules, the rules eventually are consistent and make sense. If they don't make sense, it indicates that there is a complication you don't understand fully. All the questions the reader has EVENTUALLY have answers. Every character has a point of view, an agenda, and a take on events, whether or not we-the-reader get to hear it. This entire series is about consequences.
Let me elaborate: this entire series is "The sins of the older generations never go away, and the young must pay and pay and pay," just in excruciating slow-motion. Are you angry at the environmental devastation you inherit? This is for you. Are you still to this day scared of and furious at your abusive or neglectful parents? This is for you. Don't know how to tell your kid why you left their other birth parent? This is for you. Are you fighting for your own life and your family just keeps FUCKING with you? This is for you.
This is also the series for you, the hero too stupid-stubborn to quit. This is for your first month-chip in AA. This is for you actually moving across the country for the new job. This is for you blocking your mother on Facebook and not answering your phone. This is for you coming out at work. This is for you writing to your manger's boss. This is for you going to march with your phone out and your emergency contact number written in sharpie on your arm. This is for not knowing how to live and being to angry to lay down and die.
I don't even know how to describe this book. It's a political-military thriller, set in a world that the author trusts you will comprehend. The settinI don't even know how to describe this book. It's a political-military thriller, set in a world that the author trusts you will comprehend. The setting is described by those inside it, and never deigns to translate for outsiders. Aka, you, the reader.
But I got it. I understood it. And I really wanted to know what happened next.
Read if you are in the mood to be vaguely lost some of the time, if you really want one of those books where half the major nouns are made-up words or phrases, if you are up for everyone losing and devastating can't-win scenarios. Read if you want your imagination stretched and pummeled a bit, if you want your thinking to be pushed and expanded.
Skip if you want comfort, ease of prose, and familiarity....more
This most reminded me of Neal Stephenson's work. Entirely grounded in specific physical and cultural details; narrators who do not explain everythingThis most reminded me of Neal Stephenson's work. Entirely grounded in specific physical and cultural details; narrators who do not explain everything to the reader; an unimaginably vast plot altered and changed by the vagaries of human relationships; a lengthy and tedious-to-me series of interludes set in a fiction.
If you like Neal Stephenson's work, I highly recommend The Three-Body Problem.
I did go immediately after finishing and buy the next ebook in the series.
Another in a long string of EXTREMELY COMPELLING novels by Megan Abbott. Y'all, I don't even bother OPENING her books anymore unless I know I will beAnother in a long string of EXTREMELY COMPELLING novels by Megan Abbott. Y'all, I don't even bother OPENING her books anymore unless I know I will be able to sit down and read them straight through.
The thing about Abbott's work is the shimmering veneer of hyper-unreality over everything. Her stories remind me of manga, in which a two-second moment is drawn out over seven pages and is emotionally exhausting by the time the character finishes taking a sip of coffee, you know? Everyone in Abbott books feels everything SO MUCH that it creates an untouchable other world. Her narrators, while each being hyper-detailed in their clear and careful descriptions of events, all have such strong feelings about what is happening that they become unreliable narrators by accident.
What is the name of crickets is even HAPPENING here is a thing I think a lot when reading Abbott's work. And it's because her novels are strong, and crisp, and they move like a freight train speeding through a motionless summer dream, hot and blurred and bearing down on you with terrifying speed that you can't escape.