Another very successful novel from Andrea K. Höst. I thoroughly enjoyed her Touchstone Trilogy. This new novel, again set in Australia and with a SF-based mystery, was published about the time I finished that series, so I bought it as soon as it was released.
I really enjoyed it. Höst has come up with a fascinating premise and then slowly unfolded it and revealed more and more clues until we come to know what is really going on. I liked Madeleine a lot and enjoyed the way the story and characters developed with her at their centres.
The development of things between Madeleine and Fisher and how it ended up was wonderfully done and I’d just about be prepared to recommend the book on that alone, although what makes it wonderful is the the context of the story around which it all develops, crashes, burns a bit and maybe takes off again (I think that metaphor’s got a bit out of hand). I can’t say more without spoiling anything, but don’t deny yourself the chance to explore this complicated and unusual piece of character and relationship building.
As I read the book something about the whole idea of Blue and Green kept nagging at me as a familiar concept until I finally tracked it down to an old episode of the 1970’s The Tomorrow People called The Blue and the Green. Plot wise, they were quite, quite different, but I’m wondering (without doing any in depth analysis) if there are some thematic overlaps beyond the use of the two colours because the two stories are insisting on sitting side by side inside my head.
I really enjoyed the Australian setting. If I can’t have a New Zealand one, then yay for the land across the “ditch”.
One thing I did find interesting was the significant lack of adult characters. Tyler would have been the oldest at about 25 by my calculations, which still isn’t really very old (or in the story that much). I guess this is something that has always been done in books for younger (YA in this case) readers, to side step the parents. (Look at all those holidays the Famous Five went on; given all the adventures they had, I wouldn’t have let them off the property!) From the crusty old age of 43, I’m starting to notice this sort of thing more. I’m not saying it was a wrong choice – I don’t think the Blue Musketeers could have succeeded with adults dragging them down – just that I notice it now where once I didn’t.
Another most enjoyable book by Andrea K. Höst. In the more practical terms of writing quality and editing (since this is a self-published book), I think the writing is much tidier and more self-assured here, compared to the Touchstone books. There are certainly less typos and the like. I’d say I noticed maybe five or six where I went back to check if a word was right or not – and in some cases it was but I’d read it in my mind with the wrong inflections, making the sentence stop making sense. Actually, it did.
Personally, I think I enjoyed the Touchstone books more, but that was about the kind of story appealing to me a little more than this one did. But if I’d read this first, I might have put it at the top of the list instead. I’m not sure if Höst has written any other science fiction. I’m much more in an SF mood at the moment (especially with that touch of a puzzle of a mystery to solve), but I shall go and look at her fantasy novels, because she is most definitely an author to keep a watch over.