Monday, October 17, 2011

Verdigris Deep by Frances Hardinge

Just finished reading Verdigris Deep, a YA book about a trio of kids who steal some coins from a wishing well and find things going wrong for them. It was a nice book to read in the run up to Halloween, full of suitably creepy things like the Spirit of the Well who has water gushing from her eyes and mouth, extra eyes sprouting on our protagonist, Ryan's hands (so apparently I share an eye squick with the author), and some very nasty wishes. It reminds me of Coraline, both in the tone and in the way that it reflects upon the ultimate futility of wishing rather than finding out what you really need and doing it. People in this book feel like real people. Some are nasty; some are broken and may never be fixed; some don't want to be fixed; some work desperately hard to get better. I really desperately wanted for our heroes to save the day, and they mostly did, and the ways in which they didn't were mainly other people saving themselves and each other. Good book; I'll definitely look for more by Hardinge. Don't feel put off by the YA label, as it's eminently suitable for a creepy Halloween read by adults. And there are absolutely, positively no lovelorn teenage vampires.

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