The Waking EngineThe Waking Engine by David Edison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

this book is either brilliant or just weird, i’m not sure which.

i kept having this odd experience while reading it: imagine that your reading faculty is like a little rock-climber, shimmying across and down a rock-face of sentences. normally, my little rock-climber moves very fast and sure-footed across the rock-face. But with this book, the poor thing kept falling off.

i’d be reading along, and then: what? i’d have lost the thread. go back up a couple paragraphs, re-read, and boom! hurtling again to a grisly doom.

now, maybe it’s not this book at all, maybe i’ve had some sort of micro-stroke that affects only my reading of this book (don’t have any problems with others)… but all the way through, it’s as if the prose’s connective tissue just wasn’t there. lots of foot- and hand-holds, but no rock in between.

pfft. maybe i’m just getting old 🙂

anyway! the book manages to toss a contemporary sort-of-slacker, faeries and elves, monstrous cyborgs, the multiverse, beings of light, and Nixon together to make a lovely end-of-Death tale. cameos by Walt Whitman and scores of others litter the book. it’s great fun, figuring out who’s who.

the tale itself is nicely plotted and the characters well-drawn. the sentences are lush and quite beautiful, and the world, after a sort of blood-soaked beginning, incredibly imaginative. plus it’s really, really funny in spots.

so i’ll give this one a re-read in about six months and see if the little climber can traverse it without mishap, because it does seem worth it. here’s hoping the neural circuitry repairs itself and i find the book easier to follow.