Author: Seanan McGuire, 2014.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Retold Fairy Tales. GLBT.
Other Details: Paperback. 404 pages.
"Never underestimate the power of a good story.” Good advice...especially when a story can kill you.
For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results. That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you're dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn't matter if you're Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after. - synopsis from Goodreads
In recent years there has been a fashion in fantasy and even science fiction for re-telling various fairy tales and here Seanan McGuire uses this as the premise for this intelligent, tongue-in-cheek urban fantasy in which fairy tales are imposing themselves into the narratives of various lives with usually disastrous results .
Anyone familiar with Bruno Bettelheim and his definitive work 'The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales' will recognise the concept that we internalise fairy tales into our psychological make-up though here it is taken to the extreme of people becoming actively storybook characters.
It is very clever book and I enjoyed it very much though the main characters, who are agents of the ATI Management Bureau, do seem to stomp about feeling angry much of the time. Still with the pressures of their job it is easy to understand why. It reminded me that I need to read more of Seanan's work and plan to make that a priority in 2015.
This wraps up my reading for 2014.