Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Hangman's Replacement-Taona D. Chiveneko

 Hangman's Replacement-Taona D. Chiveneko

the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 492
gender: M
nationality: Zimbabwe
year: 2014

"Zimbabwe’s last hangman retired in 2004. As the nation drifted towards abolition, no determined effort was launched to find a replacement. However, the discovery of carnivorous flame lilies at the Great Zimbabwe monument triggered a spirited search for a new executioner. Those who know why this discovery energized the recruitment effort refused to talk."

Ok, so be honest, I'm not entirely sure what was going on in...pretty much this whole book, but I really liked it. It was super clever in a way I cannot help but adore. Chiveneko intertwines plots into plots into plots in what seems to be a neat way that makes me actually hopeful that when the series ends, the whole plan will reveal itself like the Harvester's plan ought to if he's such a genius as he's made out to be. Chiveneko actually seems capable of creating an overall tapestry out of the tangled threads he has gone through here-he has a capacity for manipulating language that is incredible. It's hard to say there was a plot in this book and there was no protagonist but I found myself completely not caring that this was essentially 500 pages of backstory, which is truly saying something.

There's a whole cast of outlandish and yet seeming completely real characters in this book-most of whom you meet properly, some you never meet (but listen to nevertheless), and others who flit through which can be a bit difficult to juggle but Chiveneko writes on and I read on without it troubling me too much. They come from all walks of life and all come with backstory. There're supernatural elements (or maybe just our perception of the supernatural/myths) woven throughout or maybe they're unimaginably advanced scientific elements and the whole thing seems to question whether fate exists or whether it is something that can be manipulated. There are two sides who know of each other and probably two more who also have an interest. Some of those sides cloak themselves in legalese, others in the language of spies, and others in violence and the language of the underworld. Things are implied and then unimplied and then carried out. Throughout it all is humor-this is a darkly humorous complicated novel which gives copious reward.

I definitely look forward to future installments in the Sprout of Disruption series as this was such an unusual and deeply enjoyable read.

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