Saturday, March 10, 2007

Scent of Shadows

Have you got $10? Oh, good. Take it to the bookstore, and Buy. This. Book.

Vicki Pettersson's breakout novel, The Scent of Shadows, is the fast-paced, no-holds-barred story of Joanna archer - onetime social outcast turned kickass superhero.

The term that kept coming to my mind as I read this book was "fully-realized." Ms. Pettersson takes no shortcuts and makes no excuses, she invokes all the senses to ensnare the reader and make the reading a complete experience. Whether it was the clinking of ice cubes in a glass, or the sensation of heels on pavement, I was present and engaged for every moment of Joanna's journey. Skilfully handled backstory - leaked most reluctantly throughout the action, strengthens the bond between Joanna and the reader as we hurt for her, suffer her shocks and sneer at her enemies. And she never lets us down - her reactions are unfailingly human (or superhuman), seldom predictable, and true to her, flawed as she is. Deliciously, completely, forgiveably flawed.

I finished reading a week ago now, and I miss Joanna. A trail of breadcrumbs already scattered awaits. Can't wait to find out what Ms. Pettersson has in store for us next.

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