Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.
Historical fantasy set in Sydney in 1932. This one focuses on two main characters, Dymphna and Kelpie. Much of the city is ruled by rival gangs, and it’s a pretty brutal time. The book opens with the murder of Dymphna’s boyfriend, Jimmy Palmer, and continues as Dymphna and Kelpie try to stay alive and evade the clutches of the gangs. I liked parts of this–Larbalestier has a vivid sense of description and dialogue–but for me the way the book was set up, with short spurts of narration from different characters, kept me from really connecting with either Dymphna or Kelpie. There was also a tragic moment at the end that I didn’t really feel was earned within the narrative, although I think the point is that pointless things happen. Nonetheless, if you’re interested in the time period or place, or if you want a book that really focuses on the friendship between two girls, this might be one to pick up.