Amanuensis (amanuensis1) wrote,

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Book rec: The Lost Conspiracy (a/k/a Gullstruck Island) by Frances Hardinge

Who was it who told me Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge was the most amazing book? In the U.S. the title is The Lost Conspiracy and you were right, this book was incredible. I'm bubbling over to share it with everyone.

First paragraph:
It was a burnished, cloudless day with a tug-of-war wind, a fine day for flying. And so Raglan Skein left his body neatly laid out on his bed, its breath as slow as sea swell, and took to the sky.

The concept of the extrasensory gifted characters is only the littlest tip of the iceberg; the worldbuilding in this book is gasp-inducing. From the mythology of the volcano gods to the way the island, the people, and the local pidgin get their names, everything is so clever I squirmed in delight with each new element. The revenge tattoos. Blissing beetles. The Ashwalkers, omigod, so original and so scary. And the way these concepts figure into the plot: How do you teach one of these gifted infants to tether its mind to its body? How do you make a promise to a god who cannot remember the past, only the present and future?

I can't believe this book was filed in the Juvenile section of my library. Not even Young Adult, but Juvenile. What on earth earns a book its categories? The story is so sophisticated I was having moments where I couldn't follow the twists and turns, the language is rich and demands you pay attention. It's way more advanced than a lot of "Adult Fiction" texts I've had shoved in front of my face. I dunno, would they have called it adult fiction if there had been a few "fuck"s in the text? Or a sex scene? Is that all that separates adult fiction? How is it done?
Tags: books
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