Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Recent Reading —

So, finished of Nicola Griffith’s outstanding trilogy, THE BLUE PLACE, STAY, and ALWAYS.

They are interestingly difficult to categorize, but I’d say the first book is a mystery with important thriller and romance components, the second a grief-and-recovery story with mystery components, and the third a romance with a mystery around the edges. Since they all have mystery aspects, so does this mean you’d find them in the mystery section at your local bookstore (if, sigh, you still HAVE a local bookstore)?

My copy of ALWAYS has a quote on the front from the NY Times book reviews that’s something on the order of: “A classic noir heroine . . .” Which is so not true.
Aud Torvingen is way cooler than the classic heroines *I* can think of.

She’s tough, but really humanized by events in the first book; she’s drawn to violence, but kind even when she doesn’t need to be; she’s philosophical, but certainly doesn’t “live in her head”. Right near the end, someone tells Aud: “You’re a sensualist, a hedonist of the first order.” This is SO TRUE.

ALWAYS makes extensive use of flashbacks, interweaving a secondary story with the primary — and in the process, providing almost a You Are There experience for a woman’s self-defense course. If Aud was teaching a self-defense course near me, I’d take it! Loved the pinatas. What a motivator!

My only quibble: I don’t believe in the thing with the cherry tree. Nobody could be that blind about how Kick felt about that tree.

Okay, anyway, great book, fantastic characters, beautiful writing all through. I think my favorite was the first one — or maybe the second — or possibly the third. They were all so well done! (Okay, if you twisted my arm, I think I would choose the second as my favorite.)

I can hardly tell you how much I would LOVE to see more in this series.

I’m afraid that the next book I read will suffer by comparison with my recent reading, so I’ll be sticking to nonfiction for a few days . . .

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