Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Worms of Heaven

Misha Burnette's "Book of Lost Doors" series has become my dessert reading.

A large chunk of the reading that I do these days is dedicated towards a purpose.  I'm beta-reading as many novels as possible.  I read to help the Castalia House Blog readers find the good and avoid the bad.  I read one book a month for the PotMB Club in order to get fresh perspectives and bond over a common title.  With all of that reading, it's rare that I can sit down and enjoy the pleasure  of a good read for its own sake.

And a good read doesn't get much better than this series.  Supermutants powered by extradimensional elder gods running around the unseen corners of Saint Louis and engaging in the sort of political chicanery that made Vampire: The Masquerade LARPing so popular for so many years?  What's not to love?

It's that rare sort of series that starts off with glimpses of the weird, and then the more Misha pulls back the veil, and the more sense you can make of what's going on, the weirder it gets.  Most urban fantasy stories become more mundane the deeper into the eldritch corners of the world you go.  That's true to a limited extent in the "Book of Lost Doors", but only because even supermutants need a day job if they want to keep food on the table.  Which leads to an odd contrast between the regular joe mutants - like the superdense Blue Metal Boys who run a machine shop - and the high-powered executives that engage in corporate espionage and all of the petty and not-so-petty crimes associated with it.

And all of that - the action, intrigue, mystery, and adventure - all of it carries a weight far beyond those of most stories of this nature.  You care more about all of it because Misha deftly conveys the characters and the relationships with masterstrokes that don't just breath life into his characters, they make you care about them.  Even the really, really weird ones.  It's a shame more of the New Wave writers couldn't balance the character studies with action with the same skill as Misha, because if the guys in the 1970s could do what Misha does, I'd probably be heading up the NuWaveRev right now!


  1. Thank you. I'm waiting to see if you still like me after you finish "Gingerbread Wolves".

  2. Reading it now...will have a post up Friday.