Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Book Review: The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith

It may be a little late for New Year's Resolutions, but in 2009, I firmly resolve to blog more about all the wonderful books I'm reading. This may be easier said than done, and here's why:

When asked the other day by a friend, "How many books do you have going at one time?" I came back with, "Do you mean for work, for school, or for myself?" When it was all said and done, I, at any given time, will have at least 2 books going for work (at least one kids title, usually more, and one adult), at least 2 books a week (often more like 5) going for school (I'm in semester 2 of my 2 year MFA program in Writing Children's Lit at Simmons College), and also at least 2 (usually more because I love short stories but never read those books all the way through) going for personal reading. So, when I say I'm going to blog about all the amazing books I'm reading, well, it would probably take me about as long to blog about them all as it does to read them all!

That being said, still, I HAVE to share books with you all because, frankly, one of the things I love to do most is talk about books, so if I'm talking about them, and then you're reading them, and then we're talking about them together (I'm here at the Odyssey every day but Sunday and Monday - hint hint, drop on by), then my life will be just about complete.

So - - - here's a new book for you all:

The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith
Paperback: 9780380790883 $13.95

This is one of those "New to Me" books that other people may have already checked out - considering it was published 10 years ago - but it is so fantastic that everyone who has read it should definitely read it again. Especially considering that the latest book (in what I believe is a 3-book series at the moment) came out in April of 2008. Perfect timing for some new paperback fiction!

When I call this book a "thriller," I don't mean it in the Steven King, make you pee your pants with fright in the middle of the night, sort of way. It's more of an adventure thriller - it's like a symphony where you have this beautiful melody and harmony and you're floating along on trills of music until all of a sudden it crescendos and the cymbals crash and the drums boom and you've got yourself a little rock 'n roll thrown in there. Amazing.

Aud Torvigen is hot, sexy, and in control. A 6-foot, ice blonde Norwegian-American, Aud grew up in Norway, and now makes her home in Atlanta, GA. After leaving the elite "Red Dogs" special police force at the age of 29, Aud now works for herself, taking on jobs that pique her interest, since she no longer needs them to pay the bills.

After running, literally, into a strange woman on a dark road in the middle of the night, only to have a house blow up a block away a few minutes after that, Aud gets tangled in a mess of a private investigation involving a highly-placed politican, international money laundering, art forgeries, and one Julia Lyons-Bennet, who is at once more than and also exactly what she seems. When the investigation turns deadly, Aud and Julia escape to Norway where an unexpected betrayal will bring their trip to an abrupt end. Though Aud solves the investigation, Julia has helped her learn it's no longer about that thrill you only get when you're in the Blue Place. Though heart-wrenching, the end will not disappoint, and will make you glad there are 2 other books out there about Aud for you to read.

Called a "new wave crime-writer" and an author of "literary noir," Nicola Griffith's writing is a sensory delight. Like Aud herself, Griffith's words are precise, exacting, and yet slow and senuous enough to have all of your senses enjoying the experience. You can feel the moist humidity of Atlanta and the icy breath of Norwegian fjords, the bump of rock 'n roll and the glide of skin against skin. Her writing has won her the Tiptree Award, the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and six Lambda Literary Awards. It is easy to understand why. Pick up The Blue Place - for an excerpt, click here. You won't be able to put Nicola Griffith or Aud Torvigen down.

When you look for more Aud reading, check out Stay (excerpt) (
9781400032303, $12.95) and Always (excerpt) (9781594482946, $15). When you look for more Nicola Griffith, check out her website and/or her blog.

Happy Reading!


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