Sunday, April 08, 2007

Reviews Quick & Dirty

Rebecca— Daphne duMaurier

In this suspenseful novel, a young wife finds that she is overshadowed by her husband's vivacious first wife, who drowned a year before. Uncertain of her ability to fill Rebecca's shoes, she tries to overcome her nervousness about the first wife. Fittingly, we never learn this young woman's first name, only that of Rebecca; all we know of our narrator's name is that it is lovely and unusual and often misspelled. This is considered a classic with good cause; it is difficult to pinpoint the reason for unease.

Moonheart and Spiritwalk— Charles deLint

Charles deLint is one of a group of writers who deals with "urban fantasy." Urban fantasy is not necessarily set in a city but is fantasy basically set into modern life. Moonheart and Spiritwalk are two books set in Ottowa, in a rambling structure called Tamson House. The first begins when Sarah Kendrell, the niece of the owner of Tamson House, finds a pouch filled with strange objects, including a bone oracular disc and a gold ring. The ring acts as a catalyst for all manner of danger, coinciding with a police investigation into paranormal activity. It's a good book but deLint has done better since.

Spiritwalk suffers from an episodic setup; while there is a continuing narrative throught the book, it feels as though it is a sequence of short stories instead of a single tale. Again, he's done better work since then.

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