29 Following

William's Book Blog

Mostly book reviews.  Very rarely I'll allow William Campbell Powell (author) to write a blog entry on publishing activity, but he's under orders to keep that stuff over on his Facebook page and on http://williamcampbellpowell.com

Currently reading

Fonda Lee
Fonda Lee
Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman
Zombie Elementary: The Real Story
Howard Whitehouse
Progress: 99 %
The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Progress: 6/504 pages
The Longest Week: What Really Happened During Jesus' Final Days
Nick Page
Progress: 43/310 pages

Midnight review

Midnight Robber - Nalo Hopkinson, Robin Miles

In the end, there's probably not too much to add to my interim post on Midnight Robber.


Certainly there were no real surprises to the ending.  Tan-Tan passes through not-nice back to a character I cared about, and matures.  The ending is fitting, and earned.


The book is written in Jamaican patois.  Not having read the physical book, I have no idea how well it reads - it might take a lot of getting used to - but in the audiobook, Robin Miles does a fantastic job of rendering it comprehensible.


So many times I was reminded of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys (which I really ought to get round to reviewing).  There's a lot of shared background, including the Anansi mythology on which both build in their different ways.  Both are lightly seasoned with folk tales - Anansi stories/Tan-Tan stories - though I have to say that some of the Tan-Tan stories rambled rather too much to hold my attention - that is responsible for the loss of a star.


Not mentioned in my interim post were the aliens.  They were well drawn for the most part, though at times a little black or white in their roles.  At the risk of simplifying too much, their role was predominantly that of the Native Americans - certainly it wasn't hard to find analogues for a Tonto figure, though I would not say that the Midnight Robber was always the Lone Ranger.


I remain sceptical that enough YA readers would push through the Tan-Tan aged seven chapters, and the descriptions of abuse definitely rule the book out for middle-grade readers.  The book asks its readers to empathise with characters across a wide spectrum of ages, which lifts it above the common herd of YA books, but does make it harder to pigeonhole.  That makes it a good choice for adventurous readers - of all ages - not looking clones of the latest fad.


So overall a rather more uneven and less mature work than Sister Mine, but Nalo Hopkinson remains an author whose oeuvre I will continue to explore.