Kim's Reviews > Palimpsest

Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
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's review
Mar 15, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in March, 2009

This book is very, very strange, and very, very wonderful---but from Valente, how could we expect anything less? It's the sort of book that begs you not to pick up another one immediately, and I fully expect myself to stumble over things and walk into walls as I try to figure out what I just read. Palimpsest is a city of living trains, animal/human hybrids, and mechanical bees; those lucky enough to visit believe they have dreamt it, but wake with strange map-like markings somewhere on their flesh. Four strangers, each recovering from a personal loss of some sort, are drawn together by their trip to the city, and must seek each other out to find their way back. This is a complicated book, sensual and elegantly written, with various levels of meaning and, like The Orphan's Tales, full of stories within stories. Even if I didn't worry about revealing spoilers, it would be hard to describe this book in a way to do it justice; however, you can read the short story that inspired it for free at I just can't wait to see what Valente will come up with next!
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