Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review of The Book of Qat by Lavie Tidhar

The Daily Science Fiction ezine (www.DailyScienceFiction.com) published Lavie Tidhar's novella, The Book of Qat, as a serial with one installment each day from July 23 to July 27, 2012.  A white man finds himself trapped in a mysterious tropical island netherworld filled with magic, shape-shifters, ghosts, monsters, and dark-skinned natives.  The tale is at once a fantasy, mystery, ghost story, war story, and love story.

The Book of Qat is not so much about the destination but about the journey.  The rich narrative, full of imagery and mystery, is delivered in short snippets between breaks--sometimes only a sentence at a time--as Henry, the main character, moves from dreamworld to almost-reality as he tries to make sense of his surroundings and to remember who he is.

If you like Zora Neale Hurston and Ovid, as do I, you'll probably enjoy reading The Book of Qat.  I gave each installment 6 or 7 rocket dragons.  My advice:  check out the first installment and then take it from there.

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