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Book Review: Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher

Sunday, September 15, 2019 - 10:00
book cover

I’m coming to the conclusion that when at all possible I should read episodically-written stories in the fashion intended rather than consuming them as if a continuous novel. I loved this portal fantasy of an over-protected girl granted her heart’s desire: to go on adventures. And what adventures! A quest with a mystery and an over-arching peril that turns out to be very different from what all the story tropes set you up to believe. But the reading felt a bit jerky, as each chapter resolves to a stopping point, sometimes in an artificial-feeling way. That’s my only complaint, though. The world building is superb and the supporting characters are well-realized in quirky and inimitably Kingfisher fashion. Like much of Kingfisher’s fiction, the setting conjures a complete mythos that borrows from existing mythology but has an integrated reality of its own. I’d call the book “YA-friendly” in the sense that the protagonist is young, it has coming-of-age themes, and the perils and experiences are ones that will feel both real and manageable for teenage readers, but it probably won’t feel “too young” for adult readers.

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