Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peacemaker-Marianne de Pierres

Peacemaker-Marianne de Pierres


the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 416
gender: F
nationality: Australia
year: 2014
novel


A novel set in a mega-city Australia, with a park ranger named Virgin attempting to understand why and someone ended up dead in the park she walks in. Meanwhile, her superiors have sent a Native American cowboy who can also see the eagle that is protecting her from ravens.


I have to say I finished this book immediately thirsting for more! (I’m thrilled this is a series.) I loved its crazy blend of outlandish characters, science fictional elements, and an amazing Australian in the near future. The plot is a bit odd and a bit hard to follow, mainly because Virgin (oh, in the future, people have odd names-I made myself ignore that) also has no idea what is going on. But she has good connections with people who can help her, a spirit guide, and a cowboy who is the first other person she’s ever know to also be able to see her spirit guide. 

So she’s unsure whether she’s an unreliable narrator and you the reader gets the sense that you should buckle yourself in because something really weird is about to happen in this future where nature requires super-vigilance and everyone lives in megacities (which seems most remarkable thanks to how large the outback is). Anyway, I loved Virgin. She’s emotionally stunted, yes, but she is also hold no prisoners determined which I absolutely loved. She was thrown for a loop in every violent encounter but also somewhat in control in her independence. Her interaction with the ‘cowboy’ is a bit of a buddy cop story archetype but their growing respect for each other feels real and unfeigned. 

The novel’s overall pacing is really spectacular but there is very little world building. There’s no history given to understand why the world is this way, nature wise or those specialized neighborhoods within the city.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A for Angelica-Iain Broome

A for Angelica-Iain Broome

the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 256
gender: M
nationality: UK
year: 2012
novel

Gordon watches and keeps track of his neighbors in a series of folders arranged alphabetically. He takes care of his wife who is suffering from a stroke.


I honestly did not realize this would be a such a heavy book and it is-the main story at its centre is tragic in that slow way that disease often is. Gordon is that creepy busybody you suspect is your next door neighbor (or, at least, I know my grandmother definitely is) who watches and remembers most of the details of the neighborhood’s habits. But he has a wife, suffering from strokes, and he is alone with this. The creepy neighborhood watching is really him watching out for people who could help him. There’s a lot of dark satire encouched in this terse and straight to the point prose that makes an otherwise claustrophobic novel into something entertaining. I learned that this is Broome’s debut novel and I must say I never guessed because this is something masterful. The suburb is anywhere UK (but also maybe USA) and the ending is...the one I wanted all along. I mean, Gordon is an obsessive narrator but it’s hard to say that anyone in a similar situation-hiding/denying the ongoing deterioration of a loved one-would be all that different.