Sunday, August 30, 2009

Magic Street, Orson Scott Card

Magic Street
Orson Scott Card

I think I got this one from my father in law, and (to be honest) I'm not all that certain of his reading choices. Nor am I all that certain I like Card, for that matter. I really liked Ender's Game, but the subsequent books drove me nuts. A few other things I've encountered in Card's work have left me cold as well, so I went into this with some trepidation.

And the first chapter or two had me wondering. I almost put it down, as it appeared to be a thinly veiled religious screed, at least initially. However, I must admit I was wrong about that - at least at some level. To tell you who the characters in the first two chapters actually are would give too much away, but I can say you've almost certainly heard of them before.

Once over the initial hurdle things held together pretty well. There was another spot later on where the religious aspects started to bug me, but they were actually relevant to the plot in that case, so I let them slide.

In the end I found it Magic Street to be a reasonably pleasant if somewhat lightweight read. If you like Card, this is something you'll probably enjoy. If you like modern fantasy, it's reasonably good.

One note: most of the major characters are black and the language used struck me as "off" at times. Not being black and thus not familiar with that culture in any depth I couldn't tell you how authentic it was, but I am quite certain that times it wasn't right. While I clearly noted this at those points - occasionally thinking things like "No one would say that, no matter what color they are" - I didn't let it distract me from the story. Your mileage may vary.