Thursday, January 28, 2010
Finch by Jeff Vandermeer
Finch is the third book in a trilogy. The reader does not have to read the trilogy to understand the story. Each book stands alone. The books in the series are all avant garde in their writing style. Each book does make references to the other books in the series.
In this book Ambergris, also called the City of Saints and Madmen from an earlier title in the series has been taken over by the gray caps, a strange mushroom people. The city is rotting, covered with fungus, spores, and mushrooms. Even some of the people in the story have become infested with mushrooms and spores.
Detective Finch must find out why a gray cap and a human have been murdered in the same room together. This is during an ongoing civil war. The story tries to be a mystery, a spy story, and a dark urban fantasy all at the same time. It can be confusing at times, but the author manages to pull it all together successfully.
As you read, the novel becomes stranger, slightly more mind bending, and sinister with each page. It is a descent into an otherworldly place where loyalty and trust are not always clear. Characters are not who they seem to be, even the detective is someone else in the end.