Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Svaha

Title: Svaha

Description: In a post-apocalyptic world, the native Americans have retreated to havens called “enclaves,” while the other remnants of society, mostly dominated by super-corporations and Japanese mobsters, fight it out in an urban wasteland. When a crucial bit of enclave technology goes missing, all of these powers—plus some powerless pawns who get caught up in the drama—go after it.  
Plot: I think I’ve summarized it quite nicely for you, above. It took me many, many pages into the book to figure all this out. In other words, it was confusing, to say the least. Too many point-of-view changes and disparate characters and not enough early backstory.
Characters: Unlike some of his later work, Svaha doesn’t showcase de Lint’s mastery of character. This one is more plot-driven.
Writing style: de Lint has a trademark style of urban fantasy: heavily infused with folklore (Native American, Celt, whatever), set in a Canadian city that borders on all manner of other-worldly spaces, and with a recurring set of characters. This book has very little of those elements (which I’m very fond of), and leans more toward heavy science fiction than his more familiar fantasy.
Audience: Science fiction fans. (I gave this one to Steve when I was done with it). Fans of de Lint from his other books: be prepared for something really different.

Wrap-up: I liked it by the end, but most of it was a grind to get through. 3/5*

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