Welcome to Calico’s Dares! This is a new feature that sort of goes along with the 2011 Book Club, but you don’t have to be signed up for the book club to participate. How does it work? Let me show you:
1) At the start of every month, I’m going to select a book I’ve already read and reviewed and dare you to read it. Don’t worry: I’m not going to suggest something I hated. Rather, the books will come from my highest rated reviews, so you get a chance to read something I’ve loved and see if I’m on track or on crack. Every reader is different, after all!
2) There are NO LIMITS to the titles I choose, other than the fact I’ve read and reviewed them and given them a high rating. What does that mean? Well, I could pick a sequel of a book. Or I could select a book that’s out of print. ANYTHING. The sky’s the limit, and it’ll be up to YOU to get your hands on the book to read it.
3) NO ONE IS REQUIRED to participate. This is meant to be fun, which is why I’m not worrying about sequels or out-of-print titles. I will warn you if said DARE is a sequel or out of print, don’t worry. I won’t let you find that out on your own.
4) I will try, but not always succeed, in selecting a book that balances the current book club selection. By balance, I mean if we’re reading epic fantasy, I’m not going to give you another epic fantasy. If we’re reading paranormal romance, I’m not gonna give you a paranormal romance.
5) I will give you the link to my original review. All discussion must be posted there. I will not send out reminder emails, nor will I post a separate discussion. The Weekend Update will list the current month’s dare, but that’s all the reminder you’ll get.
6) Dares will be announced in the month they’re due. If you can’t read a dare in a given month, no big deal. You’re not getting penalized or anything. Now, if you’ve signed up for the 2011 Book Club, you do get participation points for participating, but don’t break your neck trying to do two books in one month for participation points, okay? If it’s gonna be one or the other, I’d prefer you to read the current book club selection, not the dare.
Clear as mud? Do you have any questions? If not, let’s announce the next Calico’s Dare, to be read in August!
by A.M. Dellamonica
Modern Fantasy (2009)
Calico’s Rating: Excellent
For the past few months, I’ve been following my own arbitrary rule when it comes to dares. If the Alphabet Soup collection was chosen from author’s whose last names were M-P, then so would that month’s dare. August’s Alphabet Soup selection was chosen from authors whose last names began with E-H, but when I wrote down the possibles, I found I wasn’t pleased with the choices. Because whatever I pick needs to counter-balance, in my mind, whatever the Alphabet Soup club pick is. I also don’t want the title to be LONGER than the book club selection, and all of these criteria winnowed my choices down to one book that wasn’t even speculative fiction, and I just wasn’t happy with that. So I went back to A-D and decided that A.M. Dellamonica’s Indigo Springs might just hit the spot, and as an added bonus, it’s the August selection for Jawas Read, Too!’s Women of Fantasy book club.
One of the things that enthralled me about this book was the structure for starters (once I got over the bump in the beginning and understood what the author was doing. I’ll go ahead and give a head’s up: the story is told through two timelines, and like Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, it goes back and forth between past and present until the two timelines meet at the end of the book. More to the point to note: when you’re reading the past, the point of view is past tense. When you’re reading the present, the point of view is present tense. There: I just did you a HUGE favor so you don’t freak out like I did at the start of reading), but more importantly, what I really loved about this book was the magic: what it was, how it worked, and the consequences of using it and how it affected the main cast of characters. The magic is fascinating, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.
One edit to my original review: at the time of reading, the sequel, Blue Magic was supposed to be released in 2010. That never happened, but the author’s website promises it will be released in April 2012 instead. I sure hope that’s the case!
TO DISCUSS: please click here and comment. Feel free to read my original review and people’s previous comments, but don’t be shy about starting up a new discussion either!
And if you’ve already read the book? Comment anyway! Let’s hear what you think!