Book #32 for 2015
This book had some similarities to Steelheart, an earlier Strange Worlds read, but this one was far superior in execution. It was thought-provoking in a much deeper way, and I really felt like I could connect with the characters in this story. Which I suppose is a little disturbing, seeing as how part of the point of the book was that EOs were missing some vital piece of the humanity when they came back. (view spoiler)
I loved Dol — probably the best character in the whole book. But I also liked Sydney and even found Mitch and Victor likable, though I probably wasn’t supposed to. I liked how Schwab played with the relativity of good and evil, heroism and villainy.
After reading some of the reviews from people who didn’t love this book, I think they may be missing something that occurred to me: This doesn’t feel like an otherwise normal universe. The EOs were, of course, extraordinary. But I got the impression that the non-EOs were often special, just not quite as spectacularly. Both Victor and Eli were described from the get-go as having talents of charisma and persuasion that seemed vaguely supernatural, and Eli’s college girlfriend also seemed to have an unusual ability to tame that monster that Victor could already recognize in Eli — and even in himself.
I think some readers were also disappointed that there wasn’t a clear magic system governing everything. This really doesn’t bother me, much in the way that I rather liked how Beukes handled things in Zoo City.
Anyway, I highly recommend this to anybody who is looking for something a little dark and twisted. I’m delighted to have found this author and will seek out more of her work. I have already bought A Darker Shade of Magic and very much look forward to reading it.