Another glove from back in August. Pretty sure this one was on Gilman Blvd logical-West of the post office.
Another flashback review. I finished this back in early August and gave my copy away so I can't check back.
The book starts out from the point of view of a young singer, part of a travelling company which has been chosen to perform the funeral rites for a monarch. During a break in the performance he follows one of his fellow performers when she leaves the group and suspiciously creeps through obscure passages in the palace. In this way, the young man finds out that some of his cohorts have ulterior motives. He also finds out that they will go to rather extreme measures to distract anyone from finding out what those motives are.
Later that night, he follows his newfound knowledge into a situation that shows that the conspiracy he has glimpsed is more subtle, more widespread, and more powerful than he could have suspected.
The gist (and this is kind of spoilery even though these revelations come in the first couple chapters) is that there are two competing wizards who are locked in a fragile balance of power over control of the various principalities of the region. The son of one of the wizards was killed in a battle to conquer a country. In revenge, the wizard erases the name of that country. No one who was not born there can hear the name spoken, or remembers that it ever was. All physical artifacts of the country's culture are summarily destroyed. The country is renamed as if it were a sub-region of another country, long its enemy.
Of course, the country's name is Tigana. The conspiracy the young singer has discovered is made up of citizens of that country and their goal is to get their homeland back. The rest of the book (and there's a lot of "rest", it's a doorstop, even in paperback) shows the course of their attempt.
It's a significant achievement to write a book of this complexity about such an unlikely conspiracy and have each twist and turn of the plot feel relatively realistic. It would have been easy for the thing to feel like it had been engineered rather than being an account of actual events in the lives of real people. While some of the events are awfully unlikely, Kay manages to show the people who participate in and precipitate these events in a way that made me believe them capable of the feats they are depicted as having achieved.
Taken back on August 14th and I am not sure where I saw it now. You'd think I'd be smart enough to always take at least one picture that places the darn things after all these years. I think it was up on 56th Street just west of 220th Ave, so we'll just let that be the memory, shall we?
Nice to see a glove that actually shows some pre-loss wear and tear.
I've got a big backlog of reviews to write. It's been over a month since I finished this book, and my copy of it stayed in the Philippines, so I can't cheat and look up the names and such. That's my excuse for the vague.
Archaeologist dude with a past (heh. He had trouble on a dig where he found cool stuff and tried to keep it away from the indigenous folks whose land it was on) is led to a cave in the Alps where the thoroughly frozen and well-preserved bodies of a man, a woman, and a child lie. They appear to be a transitional stage between cro-magnon and homo-sap (or whatever the right terms are). The couple that led him there disturb the site and on the way down the mountain there's an accident throwing everything into uncertainty.
Elsewhere, a biotech firm is foundering, while the wife of the founder is attempting to rustle up customers for their gene therapy in the former Soviet Union, and incidentally running across 50-year-old mass graves that seem to have resulted from an attempt to stop a plague that had something to do with pregnancy (the bodies of the women are pregnant, mothers, fetuses, and fathers were all killed before being interred.)
We soon find out that there's a virus going around that causes miscarriages.
And the rest of the book has our characters stumbling around trying to find out what the heck is going on.
Bear is a fine writer so the resulting book is readable, but it feels like the final solution came first and he then tried to figure out ways to keep his characters from figuring it out too soon. The result just felt too engineered to be real for me. There's a sequel which might be the book he wanted to get to, so I'll probably give it a chance.
This is from back in the spring. We'd locked the cats in our bedroom for the day when we had our big birthday party. When we let them out they tore around the house to make sure all their stuff was still where it was supposed to be and then Theo planted himself here like an immovable object.