Monday, July 23, 2007

Glowing Shelter Review


Jeremy Jose Orbe-Smith has written an extraordinarily positive review of Shelter. I won't reproduce the whole thing here, because it's long, but here are some of my favorite bits:
In Shelter, Palwick has crafted an epic masterwork. She notes that the book took more than a decade to plan and write, and it's obvious in the sheer complexity and richness of thought present throughout the entire thing.

[...]

Murder mystery? Legal thriller? Sci-fi extrapolation? Horror? Family drama?

Does it even matter what we call this kind of story? Palwick is a genre unto herself, and proves all the old classifications useless. Read this book.
The body of the review contains some very smart analysis of the novel's complexities. He makes it sounds as if I was being a deep writer, instead of thrashing around in a panic through a waist-high manuscript. (You know that look cats give you when they've performed some remarkable feat of gymnastics while falling off the top of the TV? "I meant to do that! I meant to do that!")

Orbe-Smith doesn't think the book's perfect -- neither do I, heaven knows! -- but "epic masterwork" will do. I'll take it. Thank you, sir!

Also, he singled out for praise one of my personal favorite sections of the book, when Meredith's an initiate in the Gaia Temple. This is one of the chunks other reviewers felt could have been cut, and perhaps I indeed should have followed Faulkner's dictum that writers have to "kill their darlings," but I still love that part of the story, so I'm glad Orbe-Smith did too.

This morning I got e-mail from Jo Walton, who also said extremely nice things about Shelter. And since her Farthing is one of my favorite books of all time, that means a lot to me.

If you haven't read Farthing yet, go read it. It will blow you away, I promise.

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