Tuesday, November 23, 2010

[Mini Review] JD's Take: Territory (Emma Bull)

Territory really impressed me. It's a retelling of the Wyatt Earp/Doc Holiday/OK Corral story from the point of view of a young widow working in Tombstone as a typesetter for the local newspaper. It's filled with interesting historical flavor and the characters are nuanced and morally gray and interesting almost to a person. As the story unfolds, we slowly realize that there are magical forces at work in Tombstone influencing events in unpredictable ways. The slow plot pacing and character development work extremely well here, allowing us to assimilate the fantasy elements of the story into the familiar framework of a tale we know the broad outline of already without ever feeling jarring or forced. The introduction of those elements also warns us early that this story isn't going to play out the way we might expect either...

My only real complaint is that the book just... ends. There's no climax, no denouement, it just stops in mid-narrative. Clearly intended to be the first book in a series, I'd recommend waiting to read this until the sequel is available, lest you finish feeling unsatisfied.

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