Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Melusine" by Sarah Monette

Why I read it: Jeff Vandermeer linked to her post about not having a contract for another book or some such thing. So I started reading her blog, and I noticed that she was part of what I think of the SU cabal which makes me curious. And then she had a post about please taking her books out of the library, or buyng them, or whatever it is that we do, and talking about them (even if you're just talking to yourself, as I do here). So I did -- the library thing, I mean. And I read it.

Bookmark: Yarn receipt for ten balls of Jamieson's 2-ply.

Tastes Like Chicken: "Skin Hunger" to start, maybe because of the two concurrent but relatively unrelated storylines. After while the storylines merged and it seemed more like Catherynne M. Valente's "In the Night Garden". It seems similarly literary, they use a lot the same big words, though structurally they're very different.

The chapters are very long, and the story is written from two first-person perspectives: Mildmay the Fox, a cat burglar, and Felix Harrowgate, a wizard. Near the start, Felix is used to break the Virtu, which I didn't really understand what it did and what it was, but apparently it was important. Felix goes crazy.

What I liked: The characters totally sucked me in. I've been perusing her blog since JVM first mentioned it, and she's been doing Q&A, but managed very well to keep spoilers from me. I liked that she didn't feel obligated to explain the world. I loved that in the whole thing, no one sat anyone else down and said "well, Bob, this is how magic works, for you neophytes." I'm sure the author knows, becauase she explains a bit in the Q&A (it meant nothing to me, as I'd read none of the books then, but it was there) but there was no obligation or necessity to do that. Nice.

Yesterday I was walking home to finish the book, and I had a close encounter with a fox, which seemed opportune, considering Mildmay the Fox. so I was coming up on the highway underpass I walk under 2x per day, and between the fence protecting me from the small grassland there and the giant green hydro transformer box, a fox was standing maybe six or eight feet away. I said "Oh, Hello," and he said nothing and trotted off. I know, you're thinking to yourself "Maybe it was a coyote." It was a fox. They're like a cat trapped in a dog's body. And I moved along, because you never know if it's rabid or something. Then I turned back to suggest to it that it head over to my office, where when I left a goose was sitting in a puddle in the parking lot (I hate canada geese), so there was a nice meal, but it was trotting across the street toward the golf course. Bonus question! Know why the puddle was there that the goose was sitting in? It was from when they power-washed the goose crap off the sidewalk! Oh, the irony.

Not so much: I was so sure, about eighty pages from the end, that this wasn't going to have a satisfying ending, that I requested the sequel from the library. I never do that. But she did manage to wrap it up reasonably.

Lesson: Maybe about endings. This one was good, because it tied up enough, but left plenty of room to guess where they'll be going next.

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