Angela's Reviews > Queen City Jazz

Queen City Jazz by Kathleen Ann Goonan
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's review
Dec 22, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: sf
Read in November, 2005

Queen City Jazz was actually a re-read for me--because I recently picked up a copy of her sequel to this, Mississippi Blues, and I wanted to refresh my memory about the events in the first one before I started working my way through the rest of the series.

My original impression of this book still stands: a damn fine novel, and I am still very impressed with Ms. Goonan's way with a word. The bit of this book that always resonated as a free-floating phrase in my head, "as if the very air was imbued with courage", leaped off the page at me when I got to it at last, on page 271. And a bit of memory pinged into my head about deciding perhaps to name Ynderra's son Blaze after the character in this book. Hee. However, I must also admit that one thought of the heroine's unfortunately now reminded me of Invader Zim: I will beat you, City! Zim wasn't quite what one needs to have in mind when reading this book. Heh.

But aside from that, this is nevertheless an excellent read. Goonan is both lyrical and concise in her language in a way I deeply admire, in a way that's particularly appropriate for a plot into which music is so thoroughly woven. She does a fine job of presenting the reader with a post-apocalyptic world right out of the gate, a world in which people don't really seem to know what the heck happened--or only know tantalizing bits and pieces, put together out of science and tech and religion and leftover bits of pre-apocalyptic culture.

The one quibble I think I have with it on a re-read is that I was almost disappointed that our heroine Verity was pulled out of having to sacrifice herself so that her love interest and their companion and everyone in Cincinnati could escape from the bees. It felt almost too easy a solution, as if thrown together at the last minute to make sure Verity would be around for the next book. Not that I'm really disappointed that she will be around--because I do want to see her continue to figure out what happened to the world at large, and it'll be nice to see how her relationship with Blaze progresses.
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