Megan Reichelt's Reviews > Weaveworld

Weaveworld by Clive Barker
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's review
Feb 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: adult, fantasy-sci-fi
Read from February 28 to April 07, 2011

Its odd the tiny things that can change your life, the things that can happen when you take one step out of your routine. Cal follows an escaped bird and Suzanna reluctantly accepts a gift from her dying grandmother and they are ripped from their mundane, safe lives, and jarringly shoved into place as unlikely saviors of a world of wonder in a battle that threatens to tear London apart.

Having only read Clive Barker's YA Abarat series, I had expected a intricate, dark, and mind-blowingly beautiful story, but in this story he ratchets it up to 11! He still gleefully creates paradoxical creatures of unexpected beauty and horror like a macabre Dr. Seuss. While having the occasional "lets see how many odd combinations of things I can list to show how creative I am" page or two, the Weaveworld (the fairy land of choice in this story) he sculpts a world worth fighting for. I was reminded of Neil Gaiman, but while Gaimain often flits gleefully on the surface of darker issues, Barker takes a submarine.

As Cal and Suzanna struggle to save the Weaveworld (which for 100 years has been sleeping in carpet-form), they are pursued by formidable enemies. A nightmarish trio of women (ala the weird sisters)are the first: the Immacolatta, the severe, tantalizingly icy virgin, the Magdalene, a grotesquely sexualized being who rapes men and gives birth to their monstrous offspring, and the Hag, a skeletal, unseeing specter. Shadwell, a smiling human salesman with a jacket that gives all who look at it their hearts desire, but at the cost of their will, is first their tool and them moves to prominence as the enterprising villain of the piece. The rogues gallery is rounded out by my favorite character of all, Hobart, a mad vigilante policeman who dreams of burning all disorder from the world as he peruses our heroes like a strangely sympathetic Javert from hell. The Scourge, the actual Big Bad, is a faceless horror that lurks in the background til the very end.

The main thing in reading this book is to trust Barker. There are moments, especially in the beginning, when you wonder where this is all going, why he introduced this element so immediately, etc. Believe me, he knows what he is doing. While unconventional, it is one of the more structurally satisfying books I have ever read. Just ride in his little rickshaw from the gates of heaven to the mouth of hell and back again.


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