“How long have you been able to move potency?”
Pellini exhaled. “Since my senior year in high school.”
“What happened then? Did someone start teaching you?”
He cleared his throat. “Never talked to anyone about this stuff before,” he confessed, then added, “I mean, no people.”
Idris and I both tensed. “What non-people have you talked to about this?” I asked, doing my best to remain outwardly composed.
Pellini licked his lips before speaking. “Shit. I had an imaginary friend when I was little.” A flush darkened his face. “I called him …” He hesitated then took a deep breath and plunged on. “I called him Mr. Sparkly because that’s what he looked like. For as long as I can remember, until I was in second grade, he’d find me when I was in the sandpit in my backyard and take med away.”
“Wait. Away?” I asked. “Where to?” Maybe Mr. Sparkly was just an ordinary creeper?
He chewed his lower lip. “The place I saw him wasn’t like Earth,” he said. “It was like that.” To my shock he gestured toward the nexus. “Energy and colors and light.”
Throughout Nyx’s exile, she didn’t think much about all the men and women she’d beheaded, or the mullahs she’d pissed off, or the mines she’d planted, or the battles she’d lost. She thought about the ring. A bad left hook. Poor footwork. Blood in her eyes. Hornets on the mat. Because everything that happens after you climb out of a boxing ring, one-half of your face ballooning into a waxy blue-black parody of death while you spit bile and blood and some fleshy bit of somebody’s ear on the mat, slowly losing sight in one leaky eye, dragging your shattered, roach-bitten leg behind you … is easy. Routine. Just another day breathing. (p. 2)
Definitely recommended! Freaking amazing trilogy!
My reviews of:
Cover art by David Palumbo
My introduction to John Meaney came through the Nulapeiron series with the book Paradox. I was blown away by the quality of the writing. Then I placed the novel on my shelf and sort of forgot about it (I read a lot). Through my library Bone Song came to my attention. Talk about pleasant reunion with an author. This reminder led to the purchase of the remainder of the Nulapeiron Sequence and the later continuation of Tristopolis with Dark Blood.
John Meaney writes a mean book, a novel that draws me into its lair waiting to be consumed by it. And I was. Bone Song was incredibly difficult to put down. Meaney’s description of Tristopolis is beguiling and dark. Atmosphere and personalities light up like a beacon in my mind.
Considering the title of my blog Bone Song is the perfect first novel to review. In it we find the darker side of humanity described in a manner that shows us the lure of power – power-hunger – power-addiction and the concept that some people are more equal than others.
Bone Song is the first book in the Tristopolis series. Tristopolis is the city of Lieutenant Donal Riordan, the good guy in this plot. It is also a city where the dead are sent to give energy to the generators that keep the city running. Zombies, wraiths and gargoyles are only some the races inhabiting this world along with humans, and Donal manages to interact and make friends with them all.
Bone Song is supposedly a horror book but I’m not sure I agree with that assessment. It’s certainly a dark enough world, but it seems bleak rather than horrifying and creepy.
Donal has been assigned to protect an exceptional opera singer who the authorities suspect is on the hit-list of a mysterious serial killer. The job does not go well. Donal gets drawn into a world of deception and betrayal, a world where he has to find someone hidden by powerful connections.
There is murder and mayhem, but Donal shines like a beacon in this book. He’ll kill and maim if he has to, but he’d prefer it if he didn’t. His opponents (mysterious as they are) are quite different. “The end justifies the means” seems to be their motto. This does seem to be the motto of power-addicted people.
Nyx is a hero I have fallen in love with. As mentioned in my review for God’s War, I am drawn by her passion and love for the people she considers hers. Given the wrong kind of circumstances, my aspergers might have formed me into such a predator. Her emotions are easy to access, and her reasons are simple to understand.
She does her best to protect what is hers. Her ownership of both her people and her country enables Nyx to do what she considers the right thing for her country and her people.
Hurley’s Tirhani is in some ways like my Norway. Norway is a small country known for its apparent peaceful approach to life enabled by the safety of wealth. However, as exporters of arms and ammunition over whose end-location we have no control, we are also guilty of bringing war to other countries. All we have to do is look at the result of the US destruction of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Considering the US is one of our largest customers, this really isn’t something to be proud about. Yet we go about our peaceful lives without giving women and children whose men have been torn out of their lives a single thought. All weapon producing countries whose citizens live fairly peaceful lives share in this destruction.
Rhys and Inaya have settled in peaceful Tirhani hoping that Nyx will never turn up again. Understandable, really, as Nyx represents an excruciating time of both of their lives. But the Beldame rebellion brings them all together effecting a new period of needing to kill or be killed. Who needs enemies when they have a friend like Nyx. Perhaps this is the greatest difference between the three. Rhys and Inaya (and Khos) cling to the idea of not needing to involve themselves in keeping their families safe by keeping the world safe. It is the simplest path to choose in life. I venture in and out of it. Nyx dives head-on into her attempt to keep Umayma as safe as possible.
Once Rhys and Inaya seem to no longer have a choice, they to do their very best to stay alive. Most people seem to wish to live and they will go to great lengths to stay alive. Umayma can be both heaven and hell for its inhabitants. For Nyxnissia, Nasheen and Chenja it seems to be a never-ending hell.
Norway ≈ Tirhan
Angelika Rust displays one of my favorite traits in an author. She evolves and improves over time. Once a Rat shows just how far Rust has come in her writing. The only thing she continues to do that annoys me is to overuse the word “whom”.
“It’s worse than I thought,” she groaned, rolling onto her back. “It isn’t innocence, it’s honor. You’re the son of a rich bastard of a trader and a madwoman. Whom, for fire’s sake did you inherit your honor from?”
Honor is a strange concept. For one thing, honor varies from person to person. There does seem to be a common denominator across nations, namely that to be considered honorable, one must keep promises/oaths made. Nivvo seems to have honor as an in-born character trait. Such a trait makes Nivvo perfect for some roles but disqualifies him when breaking promises might be needed. There are several high-status professions, in real life and in Istonnia, involving deception and deceit, that Nivvo could not fill.
In Once a Rat Nivvo is sent on a joint mission for the Regent and Underlord of Istonnia in the hopes that Istonnia might be saved from more fighting. Being the kind of story that Once a Rat is, the likelihood of Nivvo surviving that mission is in doubt. But Nivvo accepts that as his duty. Part of that duty has to do with his promises to obey Vicco, but Nivvo also seems to feel that his relationship with the Regent obliges him to serve Istonnia as best he can.
Part of his mission terrifies him. Practical experience of slavery turns out to be completely different from the theoretical understanding of its nature.
“…, he knew they’d come back to haunt him for the rest of his life … a child, little more than a toddler, on his hands and knees, and a soldier stomping on the tiny fingers till they broke with a sickening crunch … a woman his own age, tears streaming from her closed eyes as a slave handler cut her clothes away to reveal her body to a customer … a man hugging the pole he was tied to, screaming relentlessly as a lash opened up gash after gash on his already scarred back …”
Slavery, the objectification of people taken to extremes. The real world still embraces slavery and most of us are quietly complicit in letting it carry on. Nivvo’s mission is to get to the person trying to work against slavery in Baredi and help that person succeed. But the odds are against the abolitionists.
There are some very angry people left in Istonnia. Choosing to smother his loved ones in protectiveness happens to be one of Nivvo’s greatest failings. Even Vilores is kept in the dark. Shame on Nivvo and his father for breaking that law once again.
While Nivvo is gone Cambrosi is having fun trying to stay alive. Fedoro is helping him. Someone in his organization is trying to overthrow the Underlord. If it works, then Istonnia seems doomed to enter what might become a civil war.
Plenty of action, some violence, some sex – neither very explicit.
If you were a bodyguard, how far would you go to protect your charge? Would you allow yourself to be raped? How about teaching friendly nations how your own people fight? Could you live with watching the other side maim and kill others because you needed to get your charge to a certain place? To what extent would you be able to hide all of these abilities behind a cheerful, charming and helpful exterior? Hmmmm.
These were some of the more serious sides to the story of Paragon Lost. Perhaps it is a good thing magic made it geas-like for the Blades to use all of their abilities. Sometimes life might make it difficult to do what needs to be done in order to save the reputation of a nation or the secrets of a nation.
Once a Blade is bonded to their ward, with a sword through their heart, no less, they seem to become irresistible to their objects of interest. Beaumont would probably never have had any problems in that area. The guy is charming and intelligent – a dangerous combination. Oak resembles his chosen name. Solid, both of body and psyche. Arkell appears weak, almost invisible, but he is anything but. He is also the most learned of the trio.
All three have to make difficult choices on their way to pick up Princess Tasha with Lord Wassail. Wassail’s health is terrible. But Wassail has no higher wish than that to fulfill his monarch’s charges. The four of them have to make changes to plans, travel through extremely dangerous areas and try to leave those areas without being harmed.
There is humor, tension, despair and action in Paragon Lost. Dave Duncan takes us into his imagination and gives us a great romp. This is great entertainment, but not solely entertainment.
Paragon Lost can be found at Harper Collins
Once again, my son and I have finished reading a book together. He enjoyed the first two books of the Chronicles of Elantra, which is why we just finished the third one, Cast in Secret. My son’s conclusion about Cast in Secret was to get me to begin reading the next in line. He laughed a couple of times, giggled some and seemed touched by certain parts of the story. I had similar feelings in about the same places of the story as he did.
Kaylin’s attention deficit disorder is a good thing for us, the readers. This way Sagara has an excuse to introduce us to concepts Kaylin missed in class. Even though Kaylin knows she needs to learn certain principles about magic and ought to know more about racial relationships in Elantra, she seems to struggle with the same inability to pay attention to subjects she considers irrelevant to her job as I do. In social settings this proves a problem for her, and Lord Sanabalis is clear on her being a long way from ready to meet the Emperor (unless she wishes to be eaten). Some people need to learn from experience rather than theory (well, actually, I think that most of us only get true learning through experience). Kaylin needs this more than most people. This inability to learn any other way tends to get her into trouble.
I like Michelle Sagara writing about a person like this. With one dyslexic son, one autistic son and one autistic mother in this family, we are all stuck in that mode. My reading ability, age and gender have probably all contributed to the theoretical understanding I have of people. Face to face encounters can go really well, but like Kaylin I tend to break social rules. Admittedly, some of that disobedience comes from not seeing the importance of the rules, but there again Kaylin, I and both of my sons find common ground. Other rules are broken because we do not understand them.
Words. Such a powerful tool. And what a difficult tool it is to wield. Sagara does a great job portraying the difficulties that arise from not understanding what is being taught. Kaylin has a theoretical understanding of what the Tha’laani are, but she is petrified of them. Her terror is a common one in humanity – fear of the unknown. In this sense, all humans are autistic. But just because a race is physically able to read your secrets, does not mean that they want to. Unfortunately, we humans seem wired to think that if a person is born a certain way, then that means that they wish to wield that “power” over you. We seldom stop to think that the other person might be just as afraid of us, disgusted with us or simply does not care about who and what we are. I suppose that comes from our ego-centrism.
Thankfully, Kaylin is also the kind of person who tries her hardest to face her fears. Facing our fears is so stinking hard. But sometimes a situation arises that forces us to do so. And what do we usually discover? Well … The answer is given considering the story and the obviousness of the question. In Kaylin’s case, the Tha’laani children helped her face and overcome her fears . Children are great fear-breakers that way – if we let them be.
My review of:
Rape. Such an ugly and common act. Some have likened it to theft, others to a form of murder. Isiilde has become one rape-victim among many on Fyrsta. Having been one such statistic, I am aware of how little understanding the commonness of rape comforts the victim. Before anything comfort is able to reach your mind, you have to work through some of the fear.
Isiilde was an innocent at the time she was raped, a child in most ways, much like myself. Isiilde feels the loss of that innocence keenly and Sabrina Flynn manages to get across how complicated that loss is. Fear is not only complicated but also invasive, probably more so than the act itself. King’s Folly adds to Isiilde’s struggles by bringing her and her traveling companions into one harrowing experience after the other.
Rape is not the only way to gain power over people. Children are highly vulnerable. Even at times and in areas where children have to fend for themselves to survive, children remain the vulnerable ones in our society. Easily ignored and easily used for whatever deeds greedy people might want. King’s Folly does not ignore the challenges such vulnerability brings.
Greed. Hungering for what you do not have, whether that be sex, money or property, can lead people to rationalize themselves into deeds they might claim repulsive if others do them. Especially if “they” do them. Tharios is one of the greedy people whose ability to rationalize is no longer required. He is that far gone. But he holds power over others who do lie to themselves about the necessity of what they are doing.
Isek’s betrayal is difficult for Marsais to handle. As a seer, Isek’s betrayal hit his blind-spot because such behavior did not fit with the kind of person Marsais had thought Isek to be. Ironically, Isek soon discovers that Tharios would not hesitate to betray him. Now survival becomes a challenge for Marsais’ old friend.
Oenghus is loyal and nuts. Both Oenghus and Marsais are a little insane. Oenghus’ variety comes mainly through his berserker nature while Marsais has gained his through some awful choices he has had to make. Being a seer does not seem to be an ability to strive for and I imagine any person with a true ability would do their utmost to keep knowledge of it from the public. People do not seem to like it when they are told the truth about themselves.
I did only the necessary life things yesterday evening and today. Other than that, I read. King’s Folly was well-written, dragging me screaming and kicking (yeah, right) into its stream. Sleep was a duty I did not want to embrace. Definitely recommended.
My review of A Thread in the Tangle
I was given King’s Folly to review
Deadly Magic transported me to the days of Tuppence and Tommy. A modern technology version of the two, yet leaving me with the sense of a bygone era. I had fun with Grace and …, their meeting and the mystery (death) that brought them together.
Who dun’ its seem to have vanished from my reading habits. Goodness knows why. Perhaps I haven’t felt the need. Reading Deadly Magic prodded that desire in me.
Corpses kept on turning up. First there was Lily. Usually the first person to be killed is the main target. Deadly Magic kept to the script of the traditional mystery style. There was no real magic involved. Just magicians with their illusions. Grace was just a regular office worker with a harsh boss.
In some ways I used to be like Grace. Perhaps my autism makes me believe just about anything people tell me. Some people probably find that convenient while others get annoyed. My sense of fair play would have made remaining an employee of Straker extremely difficult. But I have worked with people who remained in such situations for one reason or another. Grace accepts Straker’s comments and behavior to a certain point. Once he crossed that line, she spoke up without being rude. I wish I could do that.
The other characters support Grace, so we only get glimpses of some of their traits. One of them doesn’t mind breaking all societal rules. Like a lot of literary crooks, this person’s compatriot has a talent for rationalization.
Elisabeth Crabtree’s style completely fooled me in one regard. For some reason I was convinced we were in London when in fact we were in New York. Perhaps that had to do with the way most of the story happened in three buildings, rather than outside. One was the old office building. The second was the deadly theater and the third was Grace’s apartment.
Grace is asked to investigate the death by her boss. She discovers that he has asked most of his employees to do the same. But Grace feels that something is off with the apparent suicide and decides to take her investigations seriously. Looking into murder without the authority of the police behind you can be a dangerous venture. Perhaps betrayal lurks. Grace seems blissfully uncaring about the dangers involved. There are people like that out there. I know several of them. Nuts the whole bunch, but fun to be around.
If you want to read something lighthearted and fun with a little suspense, this might well be the book for you.
I read other reviews before I publish my post. Sometimes that helps me understand why I enjoyed a story. On Amazon one of the commenters said something about the children not thinking about their grandparents and how that must make their grandparents feel. That got me wondering about my relationship with people.
Perhaps one of the reasons autistic people are thought of as not having empathy is because some of us are like the teenagers in Shadowbloom. If a person is not in my vicinity, I seldom think about them. Even when they are near by, I can completely forget their existence. I can love them to bits, but my focus tends to be in the here and now. Sure I worry if something is amiss with a person I care about. But allistics seem to get caught up in their worries. To me Axton and Anina seemed perfectly normal.
The two twins lost their parents to the Willow 13 years ago. All they know is that their parents crashed their car into a tree and then disappeared completely. Since then they have lived with their grand-parents. Anina and Axton have opposite reactions to the loss of their parents.
Anina is ANGRY and shows it. Her personality is probably a bit tetchy to begin with, but what she sees as a betrayal has brought out her barbs completely. Very fitting considering her changes in the Garden. Axton has become afraid of most things and delves into his mother’s field of study – botany.
Disappearing from the world and ending up in a place unlike anything the two could have imagined only intensifies their behavioral patterns. Axton becomes more afraid. Anina’s anger grows. But at least the two hope that they might discover what happened to their parents. Perhaps they will.
I really liked Shadowbloom. The Garden was a strange place where plants took the place of animals. Getting eaten by one was certainly possible. The Sullivan brothers write well and their cover was great.
The Agency by Jessica Page is a paranormal romance with a mystery twist. The Agency is Ms. Page’s first published novel and is part of a series called Agency Hunger. Ms. Page provided me with a copy of her novel in return for a review.
We all know that I am a terrible romance reviewer but I will comment of the stuff that I understand about the concept.
Our male main character’s name is Reid. He falls into the cognitive trap of telling himself to “not think about thinking about a subject”. You know what happens then. The more you fight it, the more you think about it. Sure enough. The more Reid thought about not thinking about liking Harper the more she stuck out in his mind. Silly old vampire. Should know better by now. Especially since he discovers early one that Harper is able to read minds. I thought this was hilarious which is what romance is to me.
The other romance bit that I am able to understand is the sex part. For those of you who do not know yet, I am Norwegian. When Ms. Page told me that her novel had adult content I admit that made me curious as to whether this Viking would think so as well. Personally I think older young adults could read Ms. Page’s novel so they could learn about consensual sex. Because that was what it was. Nice, consensual sex that made me a bit horny. Well done Ms. Page – both on making me horny with your writing and for writing about kind sex. Nor was the violence especially violent.
Both Reid and Harper are extremely sexy and good-looking and that seems to be some sort of rule with romances.
We first meet Harper as she is on her way to and arrives on the subway platform. She has her first encounter with the supernatural world when a person sneaks up behind her wanting to “taste her”. Harper knows this because of what she thinks is a one-of-a-kind ability. To say that she is freaked out is putting it mildly. She turns around, sees sharp incisors and red eyes and thinks what any regular person would
“a fucking vampire standing right in front of me ready to kill me? That is not possible.”
Immediately she has her second encounter when the first vampire is pulled off her by another one – Reid.
Harper is dragged into the supernatural world disbelieving herself and who/what she meets yet finally feeling as though she fits in. Her mind-reading ability caused her adoptive parents to turn her over to a private research facility for testing and Harper had lived 8 years of her life in a laboratory being examined in all sorts of ways. Growing up is difficult enough to do under normal circumstances. Adding non-optional electric shocks and other invasive procedures has made her wary of other people’s reactions to her abilities. Discovering that she is a normal supernatural with an irregular ability must have been relaxing. Finally there is a place in this world where she belongs.
The supernatural members of Harper’s new world are werewolves, vampires and mages (Harper is a mage). You are either born or made a vampire or werewolf. Mages have to be born but do not begin manifesting their abilities until they are ten years old. Werewolves have controlled, painless transitions and they remain in charge of themselves after the change. Vampires are alive but depend on blood to feed the virus that gives them extra abilities. Both werewolves and vampires need to be coached while they are newbies so they do not allow their predatory sides to take over.
Reid is old enough that he has seen the consequences of letting his predatory side rule. His choice was to join up with the group of supernaturals that wanted to keep the community and themselves under control. He belongs to the Agency as one of their best trainers and agents. His responsibility will be to train Harper. Their job will be to help figure out why all the illegal turnings and the deaths that follow the unsuccessful ones are happening.
I liked Jessica Page’s first attempt at a novel. Sure, there is something that needs work. That is a tightening of the story. Sometimes her story falls out of the flow and she has to find her way back into the stream again. But she manages to make her text flow and that is a feat in and of itself. Her English is Canadian English.
“Love’s a bitch, ain’t she?”
Not for me, but certainly for Rast Randall and Jo-Jo Rasterovitch who have both fallen for Baronessa Mira Fedor from Araldis. When Mira is captured by the Extropists (nascent humanesques/post-species) Mira shows why Rast and Jo-Jo care so much for her. Resilience is the quality I find most describes the young refugee from Araldis. I’m not certain if resilience is something that most find attractive, but I know that I do. Part of that attraction lies in my own history and perhaps part of it has to do with resilient people radiating some sort of invisible strength. Fighting her fears and going on in spite of the traumas that come her way signifies the kind of courage the young Baronessa has.
Insignia has shown Mira how utterly alien the thought patterns of other creatures can be. Wanton-Poda is about to show her how “evolved” humanesques no longer have much in common with their roots. Indeed, their morals are amoral seen from a Western point of view. Through this, dePierres shows us just how different our own cultures can be in this mix that our global village has become. What one ethnic background considers only proper another might consider sociopathic or paranoid or cruel. Judging others based on our own backgrounds is unwise yet impossible to avoid. Again and again Mira is confronted with the need to reach beyond her own way of thinking. But it ain’t easy!
Tekton is from highly competitive Lostol. Whether the whole population is like him is impossible for me to say, but he and his cousin both seem supremely self-absorbed and willing to do anything to win over the other. Sole (the Entity/God/strange intelligence) knows to use these two qualities against them in its attempt to achieve its own goals. We don’t find out what these goals are until the end of the Sentients of Orion serial (yes, I cheated). As we see in Mirror Space, Tekton learns what being helpless is all about and finds his narcissism challenged. Perhaps there is potential for change in him.
One person who seems to have no hope of changing is Trin Pelligrini. He keeps on insisting that Mira has run off and fights Cass Mulravey for power of the survivors. His ego needs constant stroking, one reason he is so fond of Djeserit. Yet this utter and complete belief in his own superiority might be what the survivors need in order to stay alive.
In fact, characters like Trin Pelligrini, Lancer Farr and Tektor Lostol are fascinating people. I find there is something about deviant fictional characters that makes a story much better. However much I hate it whenever such a person turns up in my own life, they surely make for a deeper understanding of the human psyche. Literature serves this function, along with many others, for me.
One thing that is certain is that Marianne de Pierres has the flow needed to grab hold of me and drag me along in her story. Annoyingly, yet wonderfully, I find myself unable to resist her pull.
My review of:
The end of Dark Space has left Mira pregnant, raped by Trin so he could ensure his progeny with a pure-blood noble from Araldis. Rast states it so well
“Women get raped,” said Rast harshly, her pale skin flushed with emotion. “Sometimes in war, sometimes just for the hell of it. That’s what happens.” She gripped Mira’s wrist and pulled her close. Then she hugged her tightly for a long moment.
“We’ll get your world back for you, Baronessa. But tell me something: are you sure you really want it?”
Not only did Trin rape Mira and send her off-planet to get help. While staying behind he makes certain to besmirch Mira’s reputation by claiming that she has run off. For Trin does not want Mira to become more popular than he. After all, that might endanger his own shot at becoming Principe after the war.
War, ambition, greed, death.
Trin is more concerned with saving his men than with saving the population of Araldis. Cass Mulravey sees that he has no clue that if he wishes to rebuild his world, he will need women to bear children. The two of them are at odds through all of Chaos Space. Only Djeserit’s attempts to broker a peace between them keeps them from open dispute. Until Trin has managed to finagle the loyalty of the women who have followed Cass, he has to at least give the appearance of working for the greater good. Perhaps all of this pretending will turn to true behavior eventually???
We find out who Djeserit’s mother is. Oh, dear! Poor girl. None of us choose our own parents, but some of us are left with worse parents than others. Bethany Farr is no ideal mother. She seems to have repented of sending Djeserit off and now wants to save Djeserit and thereby Aldaris. But will Bethany carry through or perhaps only work towards the redemption of her daughter until her next “love” comes along??
Insignia, the biozoon carrying Mira, turns out to have an agenda of its own. The vessel has repeatedly tried to get Mira to understand that it does not care about humanesques in general, only the ones with which it can communicate. When its contract with the Fedor clan runs out in the middle of an escape, Mira fully comes to understand how true and real that is.
Mira is one severely traumatized person who is thrown from one chaotic episode to the next. Needing to make decisions pronto goes against her socialization, and tearing herself loose from that socialization is incredibly painful for her. In Dark Space Mira learned to handle a gun, something that was forbidden to the upper-class women. In Chaos Space she has to learn to see through the fallacies of her traditions. Having worked my way out of fundamentalism, makes it easy for me to relate to what Mira must have gone through. Being brought up in a society where women are taught from a young age that they are less and also taught how to internalize this tradition and accept it as right and proper makes the reach through the fog of indoctrination severely painful and self-actualizing. Mira is forced to grow once she makes the choice to make her way through her fog and grow she does.
Asking for help is more complicated than Mira had thought. Naively, Mira had expected that explaining her planet’s situation to OLOSS would bring OLOSS to the rescue. But OLOSS is concerned with what is in it for them and want to get hold of Insignia so they can study it. Having read something about the history of our own world this concern with profit in the face of aid is nothing new. In fact, I wonder if the need to profit from another person’s tragedy is embedded in the human psyche?
DePierres’ writing is as riveting in Chaos Space as it was in Dark Space. Again I found myself struggling to stop reading.
Jon Jacks has written his story in first person and it took a couple of pages for me to settle into this uncommon style of writing. Wyrd Girl is written in British English.
Ghosts, ghasts, the nyxt, after-life, the under-world, possessed. Being able to see and communicate with the other-world has never been usual practice in the world. Not even the world of Twice Hadday. Zoofelt, Dunnstedt & Ernst Advertising are the go to people in the area of life/death.
Twice/Tracey/Trace came into contact with ZDEA after she and her boyfriend, Chris, had witnessed the death of one of their couriers. Or was that really how Twice came into contact with them. As the story unfolds we discover that Twice’s world is seldom as clear-cut as we might at first think.
There’s something more powerful, more frightening, than all these things.
Something that could tear every connection apart with an angry squint of an eye.
We only get to know people through Twice’s point of view and are therefore limited in our knowledge by what she focuses on.
Wyrd Girl is clearly meant for young adults (or new adults as Jon Jacks calls them). Mr. Jack’s writing is highly accessible and strange and interesting. I believe I have become a fan.
- Published: May 07, 2013
- Words: 32,590
- Language: English
- ISBN: 9781301866502
I just finished reading Wild Magic to my son. We are enjoying our last opportunities of reading together before he goes off to uni.
Another favorite word, crepuscular, has been added to my leaking brain.
“Aran Aranson pushed himself slowly to his knees, and stared like a hawk into the crepuscular south.”
Some words grab me, making me theirs. Their sound affects different parts of my head and the joy of reading out loud lies in this effect. Jude Fisher’s writing is of the kind that lends itself to be read out loud.
Katla Aranson is my son’s favorite character out of this bunch. It’s funny but she and he are alike in many ways. Both are oddballs among their peer-groups. Both are impatient. Patience is anything but a virtue to these two. Katla and my son are impulsive. That impulsiveness tends to be of the kind, generous and sometimes not-very-well thought through kind. They are both characters that people love and that people have a difficult time labeling.
Katla is my favorite as well. She is at the beginning of her adult life and is full of the vibrancy and courage that one has at 19. I look back at some of the things I did back then and end up having to admire all that I would put myself through to try to enter the adult world. I like that Katla isn’t interested in following the mores of her society. No marriage and children for her. No thank you! Perhaps she ends up changing her mind, but a lot of things are going to have to fall into place for that to happen. Katla has another quality that I admire. She is able to live in the here and now. If she is in a situation that she cannot change, Katla finds something in the here and now that she can work with. Optimist would a term that could be applied to her.
I feel sorry for Katla’s mom and dad. Bera and Aron are both caught up in the geas that Virelai has created and it is tearing them apart. Aron ends up doing something so stupid that it has a devastating effect on most of his loved ones. All because of a geas that itself has been caught up in the return of magic to the world. It is painful to see how self-destructive obsessions can make us. It’s not that we stop caring about how what we do affects others, rather it is a matter of not being allowed to care because our obsession takes so much room in our bodies. Virelai did a terrible thing in creating his geas, geas that will affect thousands of lives (Virelai’s being one of them).
There are a great many other characters who require their own space in the world of Elda and all of their story-lines are important to the plot. The Rose’s return to memory is definitely one of the important ones. But I am more interested in Saro Vingo. Saro finds himself swamped by the effects of the stone he carries and his amplified gifts. The people around him overwhelm him with their passions and fears. Being able to see a person for who they really are and not for who they present to the world is on the surface a gift. But gift is the last thing Saro’s ability ends up feeling like to him. Never in his wildest imaginations did he imagine people to be as base as he has found them. The feelings and thoughts of animals are easier to deal with.
Saro is the kind of person who happens to be a naturally caring one. His true gift is the desire to make the world a better place and to extend kindness to those he meets – even the people who ruthlessly use him.
Jude Fisher writes a highly entertaining tale about some incredibly insane and real people. If you like Vikings, this is a story for you; and if you like the Osmanians, this is also a story for you.
- Series: Fool’s Gold
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (July 5, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743440412
- ISBN-13: 978-0743440417
My review of Sorcery Rising