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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro, Simon Prebble
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo
Jeff Long
Progress: 11/431 pages
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Carolyn Keene
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %

The Blue Blazes ★★★★★

The Blue Blazes - Chuck Wendig

This book has a number of issues and style choices that I would usually find very offputting, and maybe even dealbreaking taken all together, but the author somehow managed to seize control of my eyeballs and keep them moving across the page until I was surprised, and disappointed, to find myself staring at the acknowledgements page with no more story to read. It’s written in present tense, with a staccato style that dispenses with proper grammar. Rather than coming across as written by a third grader armed with a thesaurus, though, it enhances the use of use of present tense, incorporating the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and attitudes without resorting to first person POV. The characters are all criminals, and none of them are nice guys, but all the protagonists have something to love. There are a couple of kickass heroines, admirably tough, even as they’re nerving themselves up by reminding themselves that they *are* too badass to be frightened or to back away from a fight. I noticed a few editing errors – spelling, etc., but this story transcends them. I struggled a little at the start to understand the storyline and setting, as the author plunges you right in to the action and reveals the backstory in dribs and drabs, making me feel as though I started in the middle of the story rather than at the beginning, but by ¼ of the way in, I was completely sucked into the story.


This wasn’t a perfect book, but it’s been a long time since I was so riveted by a story that I stayed up half the night and left dirty dishes in the sink and wet laundry moldering in the washing machine to finish it, so 5 stars from me.


My first Chuck Wendig book, but it won’t be the last. I’ve moved the Miriam Black books higher on my queue. I suspect his writing style will be especially effective on audio.