Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Houston, houston, the stars, the stars

Got my first contact email today, brings to mind the scene in the space ship movie where the pilot takes the vessel out for its maiden voyage. All the planning, all the building, all the praying didn't make it as real as the sleek, irrepressible thing coasting out among the stars, the act of defying gravity. That is to say, that email was confirmation that this thing is happening. The book is coming, the fourth in the Where Shadows Lie series.

But I want to post a review I got today for the first book. The second has few, and to my knowledge the third still has zero, but it would be improper to complain. At least someone is reading me. Maybe not loud, and maybe not clear, but it's better than static.

It's not so hard to imagine a book written with precise and deliberate language. Happens all the time, right? You can find it in classic literature, even in the Magical Realism of writers such as Isabel Allende. Such authors have a way of setting up a world not only through their descriptions, but by the evocation brought on by the language they use.

Not so common is this writing style to the fantasy genre, though it seems like it would be a natural fit.

Enter JE Cammon.

With the world of Where Shadows Lie, Cammon has created a modern world that is of our world, but slightly apart. It is peopled by the natural and the supernatural, but not in ways that you've seen before. Or at least, that I've seen before. And I've read a lot of fantasy/sci fi.

By using precise language, and imbuing his characters with this language, we see a more scholarly approach to the genre. Which is not to say that it's not full of action, suspense, and the other things that you've come to expect from the genre, but Cammon does it in a way that transports you from the POW! ZAM! zaniness we've all come to expect and survive off of and makes the clarity and deliberation of the characters come to life. Violence is employed, but it is employed in such a way as to be a logical extension of the characters as opposed to "it's time for a fight scene."

It's kind of like eating filet mignon again after surviving on sirloin for years. You forget the power of language, and its ability to communicate just through altering it's use.

Therefore, five stars, and high recommendations.

I say that I can remember Hemingway, not like we met, but like when I was reading him, it felt like we had a relationship. He had rough hands and a harsh tongue. I couldn't always understand him, and I didn't always want to either. He was like an irritable, convalescing neighbor my parents made me look after. I cut his grass and sometimes, when he let me inside his home, I stared at old black and white photographs of his memories. 

Damn but it feels good to be mentioned in the same heartbeat.

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