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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

Two mini reviews of very different fantasy stories

I read a couple of VERY different fantasy stories in January - a Buddy Read with my sister and the conclusion of the Jemision duology.

The World We Make #2 by N.K. Jemisin

Genre: Fantasy

Published November 2022; 352 pages

Finishing up this duology instead of waiting five years to get around to it which, by then, I'd have forgotten all the characters and history. Doing it right this time!

First Sentence: "Call me Neek. No, I'm not hunting no fucking whale."

Continuing from the first story where each of the seven boroughs of New York City are represented by a human with special powers representative of the vibe, the atmosphere, of a specific borough. Set in the present day, there are lots of current event and pop culture references to make the story feel like it could happen tomorrow.

This is one complex story to follow. All the books I've read of hers so far are complex, but this one was way over my head. I followed the gist of it and had flashes of understanding, but I didn't "get" it. If there were holes in the plot, I'd NEVER see them because I barely stayed up with what was happening. And that's probably more due to my reading than the author's writing. So, like this:

"Beyond the windows she sees not the graffiti-limned buildings of Queens, but something at once familiar and unnerving: the metaversal tree. It exists at a scale great enough to encompass all worlds, both nowhere and everywhere at once, where one can witness the dynamism of the entire multiverse in an exponential cauliflower-cluster fractal spread of possibility."

I had a hard time getting back into each of the characters and keeping them straight. I almost wish the two books had been combined into one big 600 page story so I could have kept the momentum from the first book. I still liked the story, I just didn't love it as it left me in the multiverse dust.

Challenges Tagged:

Popsugar (book with a map): 2/40

Library Love: 2/70

Coyer 1st semester: 3

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published 2011; 237 pages

This book is a Buddy Read for my sister, Donna, and me. In reading the Author's Note at the beginning, I discovered that he wrote this book at the request of the estate of author Siobhan Dowd (4 YA novels) as her final work. He wrote this based on her premise and characters, but as his own vision. A pretty big task!

First Sentence: "The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. Conor was awake when it came."

This is a young adult book full of emotion as Conor's mom is dying of cancer but he can't bring himself to admit it or certainly say it out loud. He has nightmares about monsters and suddenly one appears - the giant yew tree from the back yard develops arms/legs and a big voice to tell the boy three stories. At the end of the stories, he wants Conor to tell the fourth story, his truth. The series of stories from the monster helps him deal with the various stresses in his life - school, no friends, living with grandma he doesn't know/like, etc., and eventually, to admit the truth about his mom. It's an insightful story with layers that can be absorbed and dissected or the story can be read as the interesting monster tale that it is. A heartbreaking and heartwarming story of love and loss

"You do not write your life with words', the monster said. 'You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do."

Challenges Tagged:

Mt. TBR (owned): 1/12

Literary Escape bonus (country): UK/2

COYER 1st semester: 4

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