Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Review: Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint's 1998 novel, Someplace to be Flying begins innocuously enough; a cabdriver witnessing a mugging decides to get involved and ends up getting shot for his troubles. Then, along with the mugging victim (a photojournalist on her way home), he is saved by two young women who appear to be able to fly.

de Lint has always excelled at stories wherein people meet the supernatural and end up shifting their views on the world, but Someplace to be Flying goes much further than this, adding in an entire hidden populace on Earth and drops both characters into the middle of a city wide war. The book actually takes it's time setting up the main events of the story, spending nearly a hundred pages introducing its ensemble and using another fifty for backstory before everything begins to move forward very quickly.

The story is set in Newford, includes a few characters from previous novels and short stories, but is largely populated by new characters, including a set of sisters that are like nothing I've read before (and I've been reading fantasy novels since the mid-eighties), and immerses the reader into an experience including emails, admittance forms and more.

The story works incredibly well at setting up its own mythology and plays fair with all of its charactes (although I have to admit to losing track of exactly who was who twice). A fascinating read and one that already has me looking forward to his next work.

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