An eggplant wails, a ladder breaks, and the guise of civility shatters.
A professor of festival studies, a potato hunter, a deadly career counselor, and a part-time terrorist are struggling to retain their sanity in a magically mundane city. Their carefully laid plans fall apart when they meet Mr. Pearson, an everyman who suspects a conspiracy of evil polygons behind his company’s absurd practices.
Theirs is a world in which people use raw produce and wasted time to alter reality. If it were not for the stringent safety standards on fruits and vegetables, the citizens would live in misery. Most live a life of willful ignorance instead, desperate to avoid facing the threats surrounding them. Festival season is about to begin, but the colorful banners cannot hide the tragic past any longer.
This book is well written, full of entertaining characters, and highly imaginative. It follows the exploits of a group of people as they seek to make sense of their world.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand most of what took place. The characters struggle against mind- and soul-crushing conformity that’s wrought a mind-boggling array of overreaching regulations and safety standards. How and why they pursued the struggle left me confused in many places. There’s another world superimposed on the ‘real’ one, there’s magic gained from using plants in one fashion or another, there’s a second magic system that runs by draining colors from objects, there’s some kind of folding magic or skill, and more. Each part lacked enough explanation for me to wrap my head around it sufficiently.
Putting all of that aside, I found the writing itself well done without being compelling. I didn’t have to force myself to read it, but I didn’t churn hungrily through it. The story requires thought and contemplation to get through, and it left me exhausted after short passages.
The characters amused me with their personality clashes and bizarre ideas. I can’t say I fully grasped why they did the things they all did, but I can say they had entertaining thought processes and conversations while carrying them out.
I recommend this for people who like cerebral dystopian fantasy. It’s not a quick read, but if you go into it expecting weird, you won’t be disappointed.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.