I waited for this book in every way. I waited for the ARC to arrive (I was worried it wouldn't, so was actually waiting for the book to be published), I waited to read the book, I waited to finish the book. The book itself felt like waiting.
So my opinions on the book have been looping around and around as I've been reading and I was reading the book for quite a while. Whether it was the format of the book or that Valente's style tends to be dense enough to require
a comfortable alone time with it with absolutely no distractions (which at the current point in my life, was pretty rare), I'm not sure, but at the very least I can say that I think I've been reading this book for two months now, and I only finished it today. In general, I've found it hard to just eat through her books like I do others.
I'm not sure what I think about it overall - how the book concluded really bumped this up from me being really torn about the book in general to me now wanting to run to someone's house and tell them to read it so we can discuss theories into the night. I will admit that quite a large portion of my reading was spent confused or wondering if I was confused, and I only managed to really piece everything together (not just the story, but how the book is set up and how the story is being used) right toward the end. The somewhat schizophrenic nature of the story was probably the biggest culprit there, but once I got
it, I got it
I can't say anything about Valente's writing style that I haven't said before. It's beautiful, it makes me want to tear my face off while screaming and crying, etc. etc. The uniqueness of its premise and how she fits her writing into that is fairly well handled. Ironically, the one criticism I can come up with as far as the writing goes is the irony of a character wanting reality with all its bizarre hurts and unfairness speaking in words that are expertly crafted and perfectly flowing.
The plot ends up being, not exactly superfluous entirely, but just superfluous ENOUGH that I would hesitate in dishing it out to people who want a typical scifi escapade.
Not exactly sure if this will turn people off of it or not, but there is a conclusion. Considering how a massive chunk of the book drifts in its nebulous pondering as to what happened to Severin, it does conclude, I think pretty satisfactorily.