“What do you do?” she asked.
“Well, it’s funny that you should ask. I do a little proofreading, sort of a family thing. My father did it before me, so I decided to carry on the tradition. Editing. Marking up manuscripts with red pen. Hence all the books.”
“I just had a marvelous thought. You can proofread my book.”
“Hang on,” he said, startled, “I wouldn’t want to presume on your acquaintance.”
“Don’t think of it,” she said. “I’m not at all offended by your asking.”
“Not at all offended …?” stuttered Peter.
“Hey,” I said. “Don’t I get a backpack?”
“No, boss,” said Snix. “You get something better. You’re the commander of this operation, so you, uh …” He looked around and then picked up something from under the driver’s seat of the Camaro. “You get this special Inter-Modal Communications Module. With it, you can monitor and direct our incursion.”
He handed me what looked like an espresso cup.
“This looks like an espresso cup,” I said.
“It’s designed to look like that,” said Snix. “Camouflage, boss. It’s all about camouflage. Okay, men. Are you ready?” (Christopher Bunn)
Hilarious and irreverent short-story about Santa and the elves.
Cover art by Alexey Aparin
The Wicked Day is Christopher Bunn‘s conclusion to The Tormay Trilogy. As this trilogy is a serial it would be wise to read The Hawk and His Boy first, then The Shadow at the Gate and finally The Wicked Day.
There are times when I find myself wholeheartedly able to recommend books for children. There are a couple of criteria I feel they need to fulfill. Violence and love stories have to be within certain parameters. Morals and ethics should be discussed without the discussion being obvious. (I like that in adult novels as well) Preachy authors are a pain. The flow of the written language should be such that I like the feel of reading to a child. I realise not every person in the world understands what I mean by that, but I would assume that a fellow autistically traited person would. It is all about word-texture.
Bunn fulfills all of these criteria in his Tormay Trilogy. The plot itself is pretty basic – light battles darkness/light almost loses/light prevails. I guess when life is boiled down to its most basic ingredients, life for humans is pretty much about the battle between light and darkness. One of the things I liked about this trilogy is Bunn letting us see that a person can contain both light and dark. We are not wholly one or the other.
Bunn’s characters are likeable. The story of Jute and his companions is continued. Not everything that happens in the novel is happy but there is an ending that brings the story to a conclusion. I have enjoyed my experience with the world of Christopher Bunn.
Cover art by Alexey Aparin
Once again Christopher Bunn manages to catch my interest with his characters in The Tormay Trilogy. In The Shadow at the Gate the battle between dark and light continues. As this is a serial, you will have to read The Hawk and His Boy first to make sense of the story. Ronan and Jute had their incident during a break-in in The Hawk and His Boy. Unexpectedly, the robbery goes awry for both Ronan and Jute. The intention behind using Ronan (the Knife) was to prevent Jute from ever talking about the job. But both Ronan and Jute had their lives turned upside-down during that robbery.
In The Shadow at the Gate Ronan is commanded by the Silentman to get Jute back, or else. Ronan goes after Jute. But Jute is not easy to find. He has hidden well realising his precarious position. The kid wants to live, voice in his head notwithstanding.
Levoreth Callas arrives at the castle with her aunt and uncle. She is slowly waking to the necessity of battling the Shadow. But discovering where the Shadow resides, and in whom it is residing, is going to take all she has.
All three characters have allies/helpers that both hinder and aid them in their quests. Dunn keeps a nice pace in his story and manages to make the novel interesting for both young and old. I have forgotten what it is to be ten years old. It would be interesting to hear what a ten-year-old would take from the story of young Jute and the rest of the gang.
Christopher Bunn begins the Tormay Trilogy with the tale about Jute and his unknown protector. Just who/what this protector is becomes clear in the first chapter of The Hawk and His Boy.
I usually compare myself with the characters of the books that I read. Are we very dissimilar? Is there anything in the story that resonates with me?
Another thing I do is try to figure out how likely the scenario is. Not the whole magic/supernatural thing, but the interaction between various characters. Is there any chance of people acting the way they do in the particular piece of literature I am reading? The answer to those questions determine how I view the author’s passion for her/his work.
Another very important factor for me is words. Are there many mistakes? Do I feel a lot of editing has gone into the novel? Does the author know how to move from word to sentence to paragraph to chapter (or the flow as I call it)?
My mother and father grew up under harsh circumstances. They have both seen how life can force people to commit desperate acts. Jute’s life at the time we meet him is wholly believable. His circumstances have made him a thief and a very good one at that. Unfortunately, being good at something can be dangerous for the expert. Chances are you might be “asked” to do something dangerous.
Jute did that dangerous deed and things went about as one would expect in a fantasy novel – not very well for him. But surprising things can get you out of trouble and into boiling water. That is where Jute ends up – over a very hot fire in a bubbling cauldron.
For Ronan the Knife his job with Jute makes him want to leave his business and change his life around. Is that even possible when your adult life has been spent doing a job that is guaranteed to make you enemies? We shall see.
The third character I want to mention is Levoreth Callas. She is a strange one. As it turns out she is even stranger than one might think.
So. What exactly resonated with me in The Hawk and His Boy? Jute’s character in general. His life is terrible (according to my standards), yet he retains his curiosity and optimism.
In Chapter 6 Bunn writes a scene that could have ended up in overkill, yet he manages the balance needed to keep on writer’s tight edge. Not always an easy thing to achieve.
Christopher’s passion for his work is easy to see in the way he puts his words together so carefully.