Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 22nd September 2020
This is the first book I’ve read by Polansky, and I’m very tempted to expand to read more in the near future. The Seventh Perfection is a little bit challenging, because it’s all narrated by various people who are speaking to the main character — a different one in each chapter. It’s a format you have to have a bit of patience with, as these voices don’t necessarily know what’s on the main character’s mind and what they’re searching for, and there’s plenty of room for red herrings. I hadn’t read the blurb recently, so I had very little to guide me going in… and that turned out to be all the more fun, trying to fit the story together and learn about the world from only the hints in the text.
I think that’s honestly the most notable thing about this book — not so much the story, or the world, though there are fascinating bits of that I’d love some more answers to — but mostly the narration, the clever way things are fed to you a very little at a time. It works so very well, and though I can quite understand other people not getting along with it, I’m very enthused.
The Last Smile in Sunder City, by Luke Arnold. The cover is so blatantly copying from Ben Aaronovitch’s fairly iconic covers that it raises my eyebrow every time, the narration is trying so hard to be Raymond Chandler without his absolute knowledge of where every word should go, and if Jim Butcher isn’t an influence as well I’ll eat my bookshelf. That said, it’s fun as well, and when it gives trying to coin a phrase a rest for five minutes, I’m settling into it well.
What have you recently finished reading?
The Woman in the Wardrobe, by Peter Shaffer, and before that, The Seventh Perfection. The latter is very cleverly narrated, and I really need to sit down and put my review into words before it slips away. I sense that the narration is going to drive a lot of people absolutely up the wall, but I thought everything was worked out pretty cleverly.
What will you be reading next?
There’s a good chance it’ll be one of the books I got for my birthday! The one I’m probably most excited about is Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art, by Rebecca Wragg Sykes… but The Contact Paradox (Keith Cooper) is also calling to me.