Erin's Reviews > Spiral Hunt

Spiral Hunt by Margaret Ronald
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's review
Nov 24, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: sff
Recommended to Erin by: Steven Klotz
Read in November, 2009

I tend to get obsessed with certain types of books for a period of time, and then can't read anything after that until a new obsession takes me. This book was meant to fit into my recent paranormal noir obsession, and I was delighted at how well it worked as paranormal noir while still feeling utterly different from the others I've read. Even if I go on to read more in this sub-genre, I think this will be the cap on the genre for me.

What seems to start out as a typical noir mystery with a missing person and a part-time PI leads us down a path of deceit, unfamiliar magic, nightmares, fantastical creatures, memories of an unhappy past, and dead people that don't stay dead. I was pleasantly suprised at the shape the story took towards the end, with it turning out to be more of an origin story for the main character than the typical fantasy noir series beginner. I'm not sure if this was meant to be the beginning of a series, and I'd be skeptical of whether the author could pull of a Book 2 of this, but only because Book 1 was so wonderful. There's a reason that super-hero stories leave the origin story for their characters for when they've run out of heroic things for the characters to do.

I think my favorite thing about this story was how well the author wove in Irish mythology and neo-pagan beliefs with the culture and history of Boston. If you aren't familiar with even the most basic of beliefs and folklore from these two groups, you'll probably get more out of this novel than I did. My only gripe was how predictable the end was as someone who is familiar at a basic level with the beliefs of neo-pagans and Irish folklore. I have a soft spot for fiction that explores mythology and religion, and the fact that this also explored the main character's past and her connection to her home town only sweetened the deal for me.

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