Friday, June 3, 2016

Medusa's Web - Tim Powers

I managed to read a book! It felt great just to get from cover to cover, and luckily, Medusa's Web is also a really fun read.

As far as Tim Powers' work goes, I wouldn't say this is the book to start with if you want to get familiar with his wonderfully twisted imagination. I started with Three Days to Never, which obviously got me hooked, and the subsequent Hide Me Among the Graves was just as good. Start with one of those, then hit Medusa's Web and Last Call. (Dad also loves Declare, but I have yet to get my hands on a copy of that one!)

The only reason I don't recommend this one to start is because the beginning is incredibly confusing. The characters travel through time and space by looking at images called "spiders," which are abstract doodles with eight legs, as it were, radiating out. Once a person sees a spider, they fall into nothingness for a moment, then they "wake up" into two dimensions and have to find their way into the third. I don't know if it was the fact that my mind is often in ten places at once, or if it was the extreme lack of sleep, or what, but it took me a couple of chapters to fully grasp what the hell was going on. Given how it feels for the characters, I can't decide if that disorienting introduction for the reader is off-putting or a stroke of genius. As soon as you get the hang of it, though, the plot is gripping, full of peril, and comes to a satisfying conclusion.

A small, stupid aside: this story is set in Hollywood, and there's a fair bit of "turn left on this street, turn right and head toward Y street," etc. It reminded me a little too much of SNL's Californians sketch and made me giggle like crazy. Yep, I'm that mature.

Next up: Justin Cronin's trilogy-concluding The City of Mirrors. I definitely recommend The Passage and The Twelve, and given it's debut spot at #1 on the NY Times bestseller list, I think I'll love this one just as much.

An Evening with Dawes

A few years ago, when Bryan and I were still engaged and in the midst of planning our wedding, my dad called and told me about his latest m...