Monday, May 24, 2010

And Falling, Fly: Wrong Book For Me

A friend of a friend wrote a book, so of course I got it and read it. I really wanted to like it, but although I found it lush and frequently intriguing, the disconnect between my expectations and the delivery kept me from really enjoying it.

Skyler White's And Falling, Fly, tells the story of a new sort of vampire, one that drinks need and fear along with blood. White is interested in the emotions of immortality, lushly describing the despair and longing for longing Olivia feels as she lives her unlife. Interspersed with her emotional twisting is Dominic's neuroscientific search for an understanding of memory, because he is convinced that his memories of past lives are signs of a mental disorder. They meet at an Irish refuge for the unworldly. White plays with their opposing world-views; Olivia who knows she is an eternal fallen angel and Dominic, who knows she is a mentally deluded vampire hallucinater. The text tries to leave both options open.

There's a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal books out nowadays, most of them light and fluffy or gory and violent. White's book exists uneasily among these tropes, borrowing the easy romance of the paranormal fluff that sits uneasily among the emotional weight she tries to give the characters. I couldn't really believe in the vast love between the two characters because they never understood anything about each other, which weakened the rest of the book. I like the way White tries to look deeper into the tropes of eternal life, but I wish she hadn't leaned so hard on the flimsy love of the easier books. C+

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