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Someplace to Be Flying

(Newford #5)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  5,398 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Lily is a photojournalist in search of the "animal people" who supposedly haunt the city's darkest slums. Hank is a slum dweller who knows the bad streets all too well. One night, in a brutal incident, their two lives collide--uptown Lily and downtown Hank, each with a quest and a role to play in the secret drama of the city's oldest inhabitants.

For the animal people walk
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by St. Martins Press-3PL (first published 1998)
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George Not entirely stand-alone. I recently read one of the latest ones and realized I needed to go back and catch up with the ones I'd missed or never read.

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Arielle Walker
Charles de Lint's books are always a perfect antidote to all the hatred and horror of the world - not because he shys away from it, no, but because his characters are so full of warmth and his worlds so infused with hope that for a little while everything seems possible again.

Suffice to say I will be reading even more of his stories than usual for the next while.

This one kind of deals with an apocalypse of sorts, or at least the ending of a world, but also reminds us that sometimes an end is not
Jason Wyatt
Jun 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: modern fantasy fans
Shelves: already-read
This was the first Charles de Lint novel that I had ever read, and it's an interesting place to start. I had honestly never even heard of the author before. Strange, considering that he's been writing this Newford series for nearly two decades...

and it's a travesty that none of my fantasy-reading friends apparently knew about him either, because he's an excellent writer.

Basically, de Lint started creating a world with a series of short stories published in random magazines and whatnot. It's
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There is a myth that is as old as time. The world was created by Raven, the dark bird of mystery, as he stirred magic in an old black pot. The pot created more than the world: it created the Animal People, spirits as old as time itself. They are the First People and they roamed the land, able to change forms.

Out of the pot came the Blue Jay, the Wolf, and The Crow. There also came the Coyote, the Trickster. Always up to no good, he is the outcast of the First People. Most of his mischief is
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Someplace to Be Flying is a tale of Lily, a photojournalist in search of the First People, who supposedly reside in The Tombs; The slums of Newford, a place filled with myths of The Kickaha Tribe and a place of lost dreams. Lily is brutally attacked one night while searching for "the animal people" and finds herself being rescued by knight in shining armor, or in this case in a beat up Chevrolet gypsy cab, Hank; An odd sort of man who has an odd past. Hank and Lilly soon find themselves getting ...more
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythic-fiction
This wonderful, magical and thought provoking novel opens with a quote from the song "Wyoming Wind" from Kiya Heartwood:

“So I asked the raven as he passed by,/ I said ‘Tell me, raven, why’d you make the sky?’/ The moon and the stars, I threw them high,/ I needed someplace to be flying".

The story starts like a thriller. Cab driver Hank see a woman being assaulted in a dark side street and stops to help her. The woman, Lily, is a reporter who is doing research on the rumoured "Animal People".
I always feel so sad finishing one of these books. But at the same time I feel uplifted, and like magic really exists in my own world. It's an interesting mix.

Once more, this story is competely different from the other Newford books. In this one we get an interesting set of characters, characterized by their animal sides. These 'animal people' say that they were there long before us (the 'normal' people) and came from the beginning of time. It's not a new idea, but the way that de Lint
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book could have been good. The premise, that "animal people" live around us in some fantasy world that intersects with the real world, was intriguing.

Ok, so there are about 200 characters (slight hyperbole), and de Lint gets so bogged down by trying to make them all interesting that he fails to make *any* of them interesting.

Then there's the plot: apparently some of the animal people want to reclaim some holy relic and take over the world. Um... I guess? The actual climax of the story is
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
in the middle of this mess, don't judge just yet!

Though I'd never read Charles de Lint before, I liked Someplace to Be Flying so much that I went out and bought three more of his books when I finished. De Lint's prose had some thin spots where the story stretched to transparency and I could see his hand moving the characters and action, but the tale was so entertaining that I barely cared. He created a very compelling world that I didn't want to end with the book.

Someplace to Be Flying combines
Lily, a photographer, is searching for the rumored animal people when she's attacked, and Hank, a cab-driver for criminals, stops to help her. But instead of helping he's attacked as well, and then two crow girls drop from the sky.

According to some Native American mythology, the world began when Raven stirred his pot, pulling out the earth, the sky, and the animal people. In Newford, the animal people still walk the earth. And some humans have animal people blood running through their veins.

Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This is a re-read for me.

Oddly enough, for the longest time, I thought this was a book about a teenage boy, and figured I must not have liked it as much as his others since I didn't remember anything about it besides that. A year or two ago, I somehow realized that I'd gotten books confused (I do this all the time with de Lint for some reason), and that it wasn't entirely sure which one this one was.

So, I was really, really happy when I got started reading and realized that this was the one
Jul 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another amazing book in Charles de Lint's Newford series. This was my first introduction to the Crow Girls, Raven and the rest of that crew and I have to say I love them.... especially Maggie and the Crow Girls.

Before I read Someplace to be Flying, if you had asked me what I loved about the Newford series, I would have mentioned characters like Jilly and Geordie and Christy but I would have focused on what a great world de Lint has created. Now that I have read Someplace to Be Flying, I
Jan 27, 2009 rated it liked it
"When we understand each other's stories, we understand everything a little better--even ourselves." (66)

This book was a mixed bag for me. I liked some of the characters quite a bit (particularly Jack, Katy, and Kerry), I liked the premise, and there are several passages where I particularly liked the writing and the ideas, but I just could not get into the plot and I had a hard time keeping track of who all the very, very many characters were. It took me more than twice as long as it should
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reading books like this make me wonder why certain readers have such a hissy fit over the fantasy genre, saying it can't be literary or it has nothing to offer in terms of social reflections. Clearly, they haven't read books like this, or if they have, they simply don't care for using magic, mythology, and folklore as a means to explore humanity. If that's the case, it's a shame. Someplace to be Flying is a beautiful book, something to break all those stereotypes of what people seem to think ...more
Carol Waller
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Lovely Newford entry. The crow girls are back, and for small pages Christy. Raven, Coyote, Magpie and other corbae tell us about magic from their view. And humans too. And don't forget those with just a little canid and corbae blood (or both) see the world just a little bit differently. And the little cousins.

"What makes people not believe?" she asked. "Not believe in what?" "Corbae. Magic. The Grace. All of it." Katy shrugged. "Maybe the same thing that makes them not believe in love. Because
Dec 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
After devouring "Trader," "The Mystery of Grace" and "Little Grrl Lost," earlier this year, I was hoping for a similar experience when I picked up "Someplace to Be Flying."

And while this novel certainly had its moments of being just as absorbing as all of those, I still feel like it fell a bit short of my expectations.

It's not that it's a bad story. But the story takes so long for various elements to come together that I found myself taken out of the novel too much. One thing I found missing
For a great many years my Canadian friends (well they would be Canadian, wouldn't they?) have been urging me to read some of de Lint's crow girls stories. Jackpot. You were utterly right, my friends. I should have read these earlier, though I could argue that my need for the urban fantasy of the 1990s comes and goes — mostly going, these days.

Add one for the stack of "books I would give my teenage self, had I a time machine."
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The people who become birds, which noone knows about. My first experience with de Lint, this book has a stronger plot, and some very disquieting elements, which nonetheless feel exactly right. Upside-down kind of fantasy. More about people and their strengths showing in adversity, the values of de Lint are very real, despite the magic below the surface.
Dec 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: David Caron
This is one of my favoritist fantasy books today. The old gods may still walk the earth, but what if even they have forgotten who they are.
Crow Girls! Really, that's it. They make the book for me. :)
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent story with wonderful characters and a blend of fantasy and myth.
Jim Leckband
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book to crow about (groan). De Lint takes a turn more towards overt magic in this book. Previous books in the Newford series emphasized urban/social concerns through a slight magic/fantasy lens - which I did enjoy. In fact in some books, the uncanny doesn't make an entrance for about a hundred pages!

Not in "Someplace to be Flying". I think the magic happens in the first page, when we are introduced to the "Crow Girls" who intervene in a mugging/assault. De Lint's conceit in this book
Chance Lee
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-grownups
Urban fantasy with more literary writing and quiet character moments than most, but a plot that was too slow for me to stay hooked. Coyote people and bird people and rivalry and nice guys and mysterious women and plain-named characters like Jack and Cody and Katy and Kerry and Hank that I couldn't keep up with.
Ms. Bays
Jul 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
The writing was just... bad. Like hokey bad. I feel like it wants to be a hard-boiled detective novel and de Lint just can’t pull off that vibe.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finished this in December last year :) De Lint's writing is therapeutic and his unwavering faith in human relations--by blood and by choice--is reassuring. I'll be reading The Onion Girl next.
“So I asked the raven as he passed by,/ I said ‘Tell me, raven, why’d you make the sky?’/ The moon and the stars, I threw them high,/ I needed someplace to be flying.’” Kiya Heartwood, from ‘Wyoming Wind.’(1)
“[Jack]’s got other reasons for telling his stories. You know that thing he says, how when we understand each other’s stories, we understand everything better – even ourselves.” (66) (view spoiler)
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Let's start with my current three favourite.

Here's a story starting with a simple rescue, blossoming into an awkward romance between two very different people and then revealing layer after layer of intertwining stories and lives which seem disparate at first but link in a seemlessly organic fashion as the plot unfolds.
Every character here is vivid, relatable and distinct, and quirky enough that reading about the most mundane of problems (like helping a timid foxgirl move in to a scary place)
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took me a little while to get into this book, but then I loved it. I think the getting into it might have had something to do with my concentration and less with the book. In any case, in the beginning a lot of characters are introduced and recognizing all of them and understanding a little how they were connected took a while. But once I had a feel for the universe of Someplace to be flying, it was really enjoyable. I love the atmosphere in the Newford books and I love the characters. In ...more
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone, everyone
I had fallen in love with Charles de Lint's writing before this book, had read several of his works (though I still have a lot more to get through). I had gotten this off of Betterworld Books on a whimsy, a kind of a "I like this author; it's cheap, and I'll probably enjoy it, so why not?" But I'm so glad I did.

If I had to choose a place to start, this would seem to be as good as any (especially for someone like me, used to starting in between a series as at the end of it), but you're put in
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautifully written books I've read in a long, long time. The plot is very hard to explain --- the back of the book cover states: "Here is Lily, a photojournalist in search of the "animal people" who supposedly haunt the city's darkest slums. Here is Hank, who knows those slums all too well. One night, in a brutal incident, their lives collide --- uptown Lily and downtown Hank, eac with a quest and a role to play in the secret drama of the city's oldest inhabitants. For ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was not expecting the ending. I'll stop there to avoid spoilers.

It's dense, and keeping track of not only the myriad named characters but also their identities is dizzying until things begin to reveal themselves. I felt like (and don't get me wrong, I was entertained) the exposition and building of detail was slow in terms of plot but so rich, the story arc looked like a very skewed normal curve. It felt, therefore, that the surprise of the climax and what actually IS happening behind and
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's ...more

Other books in the series

Newford (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1)
  • Memory and Dream (Newford, #2)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (Newford, #3)
  • Trader (Newford, #4)
  • Moonlight and Vines (Newford, #6)
  • Forests of the Heart (Newford, #7)
  • The Onion Girl (Newford, #8)
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (Newford, #9)
  • Spirits in the Wires (Newford, #10)
  • Widdershins (Newford, #11)
“Let me give you some advice: Try to approach things without preconceived ideas, without supposing you already know everything there is to know about them. Get that trick down and you'll be surprised at what's really all around you.” 55 likes
“But what the evil people do, that's their responsibility. The burden they have to carry. Sure, when we see 'em starting on causing some hurt, we've got to try and stop 'em, but mostly what the rest of us should be concerning ourselves with is doing right by others. Every time you do a good turn, you shine the light a little further into the dark. And the thing is, even when we're gone, that light's going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.” 44 likes
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