Monday, June 20, 2011


by Jeff Vandermeer

I had this for last year's Once Upon A Time Challenge but after reading Shriek, which I enjoyed, I decided to save this one for this year. While I know that others have read this without having read the City of Saints and the Madmen and Shriek, I enjoyed the background knowledge they provided.

Unlike the prior books set in Ambergris, this one is styled a detective story. The grey caps, strange fungal entities, have taken over the city of Ambergris and detective Finch, a human who works for the grey caps, is assigned a very unusual murder case involving a dead human and a dead grey cap. His investigation plunges the reader into a fascinating world of rebel insurgents as the grey caps race to complete the building of two mysterious towers. I don't want to give away too much about the plot or the characters as it is such a joy to discover this new story set in Ambergris. Carl V gave a great review of it last year.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend that you read all the Ambergris novels. I know that I intend to keep reading more Jeff Vandermeer, perhaps Veniss Underground, his first novel, next.


Carl V. said...

I've heard good things about Veniss Underground. I know my library has it and I was thinking of reading it for the challenge but then didn't get around to picking it up. Like I said above, loved his most recent short story collection.

Finch was my first experience with Vandermeer and I was hooked early on. I'm so glad I decided to give him a try because he is a very talented and unique author. I picked up a copy of City of Saints and Madmen earlier this year so it will be ready for me when the urge strikes.

Moo said...

I loved City of Saints and Madmen. While very different from Finch in style it provided a fascinating glimpse into Ambergris. My favorite piece in the work was the Strange Case of Mr. X about an author which reminds me a little of Paul Auster.

Vandermeer is the only author that I have ever tried just because I liked his blog, Ecstatic Days . Not only have I enjoyed his own writing but through his blog he has introduced me to many new fascinating authors that I never would have heard of otherwise.

I intent to read all of his work eventually. Oddly when I find an author that I really like, I don't like to read his work all at once but prefer instead to spread it out so I can savor each work - and not run out!