Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Blue Girl by Charles DeLint

bluegirl-alt_viking.jpgI'm beginning to put Charles de Lint right up there with Orson Scott Card and Neil Gaiman as one of my favorite authors after reading The Blue Girl. I've read two other books by him (Greenmantle and Moonheart) and loved both of those so much that I've bought about ten of his books since reading them. After reading The Blue Girl, I'm convinced that I'll enjoy each and every one of them. Like Card and Gaiman, he has a style of writing that just works perfectly for me. He tells a true story that entertains throughout with never a dull moment, never a page wasted. His subject matter is always interesting to me, often delving into the realms of fairy lore, and he's basically the inventor of the Urban Fantasy genre which I've come to love. The Blue Girl is the first book that I've read of his that takes place in his fictional city of Newford, and I can't wait to meet more of it's residents in other books. The two main characters of this book are Imogene and Maxine. Imogene has just moved to Newford from her old town, Tyson, where she's left behind a bad reputation for running with a bad crowd and everything that goes along with that. But she wants to leave that in Tyson. She still carries her punky look and her tattoos and her take no lip attitude, but she realizes that it's time for a change. At her new school, she meets Maxine - a girl who has few if any friends and dresses very her mother tells her to dress. But the two take to each other quickly, both able to learn from the other. Things quickly get strange in Newford. First of all, Imogene's "imaginary friend" Pelly from her childhood is back and has appeared to her in what she first thought was a dream and he seems to be giving her a warning. Secondly, Imogene seems to be being stalked by a ghost named Adrian at school. But Adrian is basically harmless. In fact, they soon become friends and Imogene learns that Adrian actually died young while playing with fairies at school (not the cute pixie like fairies that we think of). But Imogene doesn't believe in fairies. So Adrian (as a ghost) goes to the fairies and asks them to make Imogene be able to see them. What he doesn't bargain for is how out of hand things will get. Unbeknown even to the fairies, there are other spirits that come to Imogene when her eyes are awakened to the faerie world...and they want her soul. Once their eyes are on here they'll stop at nothing to get it and now her and Maxine must find a way to stop them...and she may even change colors in the process. One of the things that I love about de Lint's work is the amount of knowledge that he pours into them. I learned quite a bit about faerie lore while reading this book and it's obviously something that he has researched quite a bit and that he is very passionate about. In Moonheart, I learned things of the native american culture. The point is, he puts his passions into his books. His books are meant to be an experience. I can read a de Lint book for 4 hours and completely lose track of time. In fact, I was almost late to work today finishing this book. I could just keep reading more Charles de Lint for the rest of the Once Upon a Time Challenge, but I won't :p However, I'll probably add an extra book of his off of my TBR shelf to the stack. I think I have Someplace to be Flying on another challenge list so maybe I'll read that one. Anyone read that? If you haven't read The Blue Girl yet, do yourself a favor and read it...I can't wait to go back to Newford!

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