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Saturday, February 13, 2021

The ArdenThe Arden by L.S. Popovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's always a delight to come across an adventure with wit in its heart and a truly subversive eye to genre. And it's even better when the tale comes in a character-heavy cloak that demands sly attention to detail.

Of course, I could just say this is a very fine example of weird fiction in the best tradition of Vandermeer, but it doesn't do Popovich justice. That's just a simple comparison. The reality is more complicated and rich.

I was caught in a web of Kaneda's history and circumstance first, feeling a lot like I was siphoning off Akira's energy, but then I was one step away from being down and out, spitting in the eye of fate while losing the very last trappings of my modern life.
And then I felt like I was living a modern, sly, and self-aware Peter Pan (Barre, not the Disney) while channeling Area X.

And that's just the beginning. The world of the Arden is both a mystery of devious antagonism and a sanctuary. It's also a crazy adventure that consistently surprises and confounds.

And then, of course, we get the really strange bits that delight my jaded reading soul. And it's these kinds of things that I happen to appreciate the most.

It looks like I am going to have to become a big fanboy. I can't wait to read MORE. I live for this kind of thing.

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