Galveston by Sean Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book certainly puts the reader through the wringer.
It's never an easy read on us, but boy, it's a very fascinating trip.
I probably should have started with the first two books in the trilogy but I'm just going through the World Fantasy Award winners and figured I would probably get into this book regardless. And I did. It's not hard to pick up on the fact that strange gods and a perpetual behind-the-veil Mardis Gras were happening on the streets of a post-devastation Galveston in Texas. Indeed, the magical world invading the world has happened several times with varying degrees of recovery.
I felt like I stepped into a rather more local American Gods written by an actual American. And without obvious cliches.
Were the revelers actually the trapped damned folks over different ages? How about the iconic gods?
Even so, the story mostly focuses on a couple of young characters who are put through some seriously messed-up paces, made to stand against the walls of Stewart's story, and they had to stare down into his barrels.
I didn't even LIKE these characters for a good portion of the story. And the whole fixation on poker? I get it! But then, I never really ENJOYED poker, either. And yet... Stewart's story came together and made me feel something pretty powerful. I both love and hate these characters and it's something solid, or solid-sludge, drifting across the pages and transforming in the middle of the storm.
I have to admit I grew to love this novel, but it took TIME to get to this point. What a ride!
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