It has been a very long time, readers—if any of you are still vaguely wondering what has happened and where I have gone. The truth is, I have not gone anywhere. I’m still here. While I wish I could say I’ve been busy (I have) and have let reviews lapse, that’s not entirely the whole situation.
Readers, I am having more difficulty than I realized focusing on reading, much less reviewing right now. As a result, I am postponing Book Uno indefinitely, but will do my best to continue with the book club. Reviews will still be very slow. I apologize, but hope for your patience and understanding in this.
Pitnochie is a busy, strange place, especially for young Bridei. Sent there by his parents at a very young age, Bridei is looked after by his foster father, Broichan—a humorless druid who leaves the care of his home and the boy (aside from his education) mostly in the hands of others; the housekeeper, cook, and a myriad of household assistants who warm to the boy with ease.
He is never quite sure what he’s meant to do with the education received at the small house and Broichan refuses to tell him more about his parents as Bridei grows older and his memories of them fade. But learn he does, about the different kinds of magic and of the Fae world the druid believes to be dangerous. It goes without saying, that any of the Fae kind are just as dangerous. When Bridei discovers a small bundle on the front step in the middle of a harsh winter, he doesn’t think such a small baby could do any harm at Pitnochie, Fae or not.
Any opportunity to review a book I’ve been wanting to read is a good one. It’s even more of a special event when done for one of my blogging buddies. When TJ of Dreams and Speculation let me do the honors with Ben Aaronovitch’s new Urban Fantasy debut, Midnight Riot, I was excited, but also a bit wary. Apparently, I’ve read more UF than I first realized. As a result, I have become a bit jaded with certain staple tropes over the years. To be frank, I’ve become a little harder to impress and the only person that really loses out in those circumstances is me. It means my imagination has to work harder to believe in the fantastical aspects of books that would otherwise be so much fun. Luckily, Aaronovitch did something clever with his book. He made it humorous. I am all about laughing and feeling good; Midnight Riot made me laugh out loud.
As is the way with things, change is the only constant. I’m sad to announce that Dreams & Speculation is no longer an active blog. While I will miss TJ’s insightful reviews and posts, D&S had a great run. I wish TJ the best. However, the time has finally come for me to post this review here and the book was quite entertaining.
Sorry for the delay, folks. Circumstances in real life have gotten beyond me, but I hope to be back on track for June’s selection. In the mean time, please feel free to discuss this month’s book!
Few books have been recommended to me as iconic or staples of any one genre. These are the influential novels—the kind that reverberate beyond their own pages and unintentionally inspire a myriad movement of successive novels yearning to dive into some unconsciousness first unlocked in these pioneering books. Whatever the reason for genre or subgenre movements (and they are many: homage, coincidence, timing, inspiration, to name a few), pinpointing where it all began, or where it became indelibly embedded in the popular consciousness, some novels are undeniably distinguished among their peers.
According to the jacket copy, Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks “defined modern urban fantasy.” My experience with Urban Fantasy is mostly limited to Seanan McGuire—at least Urban Fantasy as it’s become popularly known, and not as I used to imagine it (something more along the lines of Charles de Lint or Harry Potter). Still, I really love the Toby Daye series. But to say I chose this book because of Seanan McGuire wouldn’t be entirely truthful. I’d never presume to credit her series with an influence that may or may not be true. I am, however, interested in reading more Urban Fantasy. Why not try one the earliest and, if the quote is to be believed, one of the most influential books of the genre?