The hardest thing about this book is describing it to other people.
I was telling my wife about Amberville. I told her I was reading a book about stuffed animals (her face softened) and I said but it's not a "nice" book. One of the animals used to be a gofer for the mafia, one's a thug enforcer, one's a backstabber and one is a pill-popping male prostitute that specializes in S&M sex-for-hire.
She got a confused look on her face and asked why the author used stuffed animals? Well, he had to because these stuffed animals are all delivered by way of truck and when they die they are all hauled out of the city by truck as well and the big bad mobster dove has found out he's on a fabled list of stuffed animals that are to be hauled away and he wants four stuffed animals to reunite to find the list and save his life - or else.
At that point she waved me off and changed the subject.
Throw in a bit of insanity on the part of one character, some bribery, jealousy, lots of lies, a rat Queen who lives in a garbage dump and a church called the Sagrada Bastante (Spanish for sacred enough) and you have a mix that creates a powerful new world - I found myself reading as much to explore this world as to find out what was going to happen next in the plot.
How do you classify this book? Is it sci-fi? Fantasy? Noir? Thriller? Mystery? Yes to all of those.
Davys (a pseudonynm) has written another book called Lanceheim: A Novel about another neighborhood in the city of stuffed animals, Mollisan Town. There are four neighborhoods so I can imagine he (or she) will write four book in total. Good. This is an interesting addition to anyone's library.
I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on August 15, 2010.
Also mentioned in this review:
"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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