By Emma Bull
Place: Publisher & Year: Orb Books: New York, 2009, c1991
Genres: Fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, mythic fiction
Intended audience: Adult
Number of pages: 315
Setting: The City (formerly the Twin Cities, MN)
Time period: A post- Armageddon future
Plot summary: In the post-Bang world, Sparrow makes a living by dealing with delicate, fragile, and hard to find collectables – video tapes and CDs. Sparrow knows how the deal works – nothing is free in the City. Ever. There’s a slim to nil chance that Sparrow will find the item the client requested next, but hey, one can look. If there was a Horsemen movie, though, Sparrow would have found it by now. But after a night of celebration, Sparrow has deeper concerns – too many of them – starting with Sparrow’s own blackouts and memory gaps.
Pacing: This is a fast paced book with lots of action; however, there is also quite a bit of detail and interesting dialogue which slows down the overall pace of the book (just a bit).
Characterization: Told in first person through Sparrow’s voice; many quirky characters abound, including Horsemen, Jammers, spirits, and hoodoo engineers.
Frame: While the whole story takes place in the City, the Night Fair is at the heart of the story. As the name implies, the Night Fair operates from dusk til dawn and offers something for everyone willing to make a deal.
Story line: An imaginative, entertaining, and moving story which deals with issues of identity, friendship, community, and service. Wonderfully told.
Subject headings: I could find no subject headings for this book in any of the library catalogs which I checked (through WorldCat), other than the genre terms – science fiction and fantasy fiction.
Similar authors: Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Will Shetterly
Personal notes: This isn’t my favorite Emma Bull book (that would be Territory), but this book did move me to tears in one part; it’s also incredibly funny in other parts. It was interesting to be reminded how much technology has changed in less than twenty years.
Other (themes, diversity): There are many diverse characters to be found in this book (but I don’t want to include any spoilers here)
Warning – reviews on Amazon contain spoilers