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fineplan

Scavenging Book Stores and Libraries

Currently I'm a librarian and before that I was an archaeologist, a journalist, and definitely a bit of a world traveler.  I tend to mostly read science fiction and fantasy, though I do love a good mystery and I'm a bit of a book dabbler overall. I've been doing Goodreads for awhile, but a friend thought I might enjoy this as well. Let's see, yeah?

Author in Disguise

Still Life - E.E. Horlak, Sheri S. Tepper

First off, E.E. Horlak is actually a pseudonym of one of my favorite authors -- Sheri S. Tepper.  She's mostly known for her science fiction and fantasy -- and definitely her feminist writing.  This particular book was categorized as horror, but there's such a fine line between horror and fantasy.  For me, this was more on the fantasy side of things since I wasn't particularly frightened while reading the book.  I became frightened for the characters, sometimes, when I imagined what could happen next but my heart definitely never sped up a beat.

 

Anyway, it's a fun story and I quite enjoyed the character of Sarah Chenowith at first.  She's an engaging character moving slowly through a liminal period in her life.  Forgive the anthropological terminology, please, the discipline was a huge part of the book!  Basically she's in the midst of a lot of change and then...  This woman shows up in her neighborhood who just sets her teeth on edge and after she starts hanging around, well, people start dying.

 

Now, there are plenty of clues as to what's going on and some of them are obvious...  They're not all easy to put together, however.  Plus, Tepper is adding in the fantasy element with killer paintings and protective Native American (Hopi) magics and so on.  It's a pretty interesting read...  Except for the male lead's chapters.

 

He starts getting point of view chapters a few chapters in and I can't help but feel lie he's a bit of a creep, even if he is so positive that his intentions are good.  I'm honestly very surprised someone like him showed up in a Tepper novel.  Perhaps he sets the Horlak book apart the normal Tepper novels?  He seemed to make Sarah less... potent... I guess.  She seems to stand on her own much less once he's around.  Plus he's a bit of a throwback male lead -- more like a nerdy John Carter or something.  He's just such the manly specimen and so dominant, etc.  Boring. :P

 

I don't know enough about the Hopi and their views, so I can't say whether their portrayal is accurate or good.  I think Tepper usually is pretty up to snuff on anthropological things, but who knows?  It was an interesting portrayal, at least.

 

I enjoyed the novel overall and am glad that I found this older, lesser known work of Tepper's.