The Blue Girl by

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See also: Library Thing ; Once Upon a Time ; A Librarian told me so

It starts with this faint sound that pulls me out of sleep: a sort of calliope music played on an ensemble of toy instruments. You know, as though there’s a raggedy orchestra playing quietly in some hidden corner of my bedroom, like the echo of a Tom Waits song heard through the walls from the apartment next door.

The blue girl of the title is Imogene, one of the narrators of this book. She and her family have just moved to a new neighbourhood in Newford, and Imogene is determined not to cause trouble. Not everyone wants her to fit in though. At her new school she is picked on by the “popular crowd” although never to the extent that her best friend Maxine is. And of course talking with ghost is never a very normal thing to do. Still, unless trouble comes looking for her Imogene won’t go looking for it. But there’s the rub, trouble, in the form of the school’s resident fairy population, does come looking for her and it isn’t everyday teenage hassle either. No, the fairies bring with them the probability of death.

If you browse through any fantasy section you are bound to come across at least one book by Charles de Lint, he seems to have an army of them, and so far the ones I’ve read by him are all more than enjoyable. This is more aimed at the teenage market, but it still has the wonderful prose that I’ve come to associate with de Lint’s novels. I wasn’t quite so impressed with the plot, it seemed a little rushed and over before it had begun, but the characters and writing made up for that. And despite the fact that I haven’t read all that many books by de Lint I got the distinct hint that some of the peripheral characters in this book have a larger role to play elsewhere in the Newford ‘verse. It is always a plus when an author hints at a much larger universe than what is contained in one book.

And I really like de Lint’s take on the fairy character, and Pelly is both creepy and likeable at the same time. Who could ask for more. Another thumbs up for the Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge.

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12 Responses

  1. Quixotic says:

    I haven't read this one yet, but am pleased to read that you enjoyed it. Hopefully I will get to it sooner rather than later.

  2. Fence says:

    Isn't that what we all say about all the books we hear might be good ;)

  3. chris says:

    Glad to hear you liked it! I have this one sitting on my shelf, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm in the middle of Moonheart by DeLint right now and I'm loving it so far.

  4. Carl V. says:

    Love the cover art on this one. I checked this out of the library once and then never got to it as I had too many books to read. Now that I've gotten my first de Lint under my belt I am excited to read more of his books.

  5. Nymeth says:

    This is yet another reminder that I need to read some de Lint. Thanks for the review!

  6. Court says:

    I've been wanting to read this one, but haven't gotten around to it yet… Hopefully one day soon!

  7. booklogged says:

    I really like de Lint. Am going to be reading his Dreams Underfoot for the Once Upon a Time Challenge. I think Little Country is my favorite of his, so far.

  8. Fence says:

    Chris <cite>Moonheart</cite> is one I've heard lots of good things about.

    Carl it is a pretty cover isn't it? Possibly a reason I picked it up :)

    Nymeth you really do :)

    Court, one day just may come.

    booklogged I haven't read either of those, but I will try to get round to them. One day ;)

  9. Kailana says:

    Charles de Lint is very popular for this challenge. I am learning about all sorts of new books by him.

  10. Petunia says:

    Sounds very interesting. I think I'll have to check out de Lint from the library. Thanks for the review.

  11. Marina says:

    I have way too many de Lint's on my shelf, would be nice if he could give us slow readers a break

    ;)

  12. Fence says:

    He really is Kailana isn't he? I'm sure you'll enjoy his books Petunia. He's just offering some choice Marina :)