The Liminal People: A Novel

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The Liminal People : A Novel. Ayize Jama-Everett. Chapter Ten.

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Chapter Thirteen. Chapter Fourteen.

Science fiction. Fantasy. The universe. And related subjects.

About the Author. Chapter Nine. Chapter One. Chapter Two. Chapter Three. Chapter Four. Chapter Five.

Chapter Six. Chapter Seven.

The Liminal People: A Novel - Ayize Jama-Everett - Google книги

But judging the novel harshly on this front would be punishing it unduly for having ambition that slightly exceeds its grasp. The action kicks off with a high-concept premise fit for a very dark reality show: a game, a chase, a contest that millions of people are watching. Arthur Livingston is dead, and Zoey, for various reasons best left unspoiled, is the prize, the human bounty in a world where everyone seems to be either an assassin, a vlogger or an obsessed fan.

This early rhythm, however, while initially exciting, gradually grows a bit repetitive, and the connective tissue, contrived scene endings that artificially break off — often literally truncating a chapter in the middle of a moment so the reader has to turn the page — sometimes feel like assertions of suspense rather than the real thing.

The bright, clever prose, while a pleasure to read, can also seem slick and a bit soulless, maybe even callous, given the topicality of the dark subject matter to current events.

The hero is Prince Corum of the Vadhagh people one of the two ancient races, the Vadhagh and the Nhadragh, whose long equilibrium has been disturbed by the rise of a new and horrific race: mankind. Corum, as princes are wont to do, goes out into the world in search of purpose and, once out there, faces a series of trials and ordeals, and gets roughed up in various terrible ways, as princes are wont to do.

The Liminal People: A Novel

Beaten and bloodied but unbowed well, almost bowed , the prince meets Rhalina, a mysterious human woman who nurses him back to health, allowing him to continue on toward his larger purpose — an encounter with a monstrously large and generally mean god named Arioch. As the first in a series, the book has a lot of track to lay, and Moorcock does it ably, giving depth with a litany of names, variants, lore, adding in the color and shading until he achieves a kind of faraway, never-ever quality to the fantasy.

Some of this stems from the point of view: The third person here feels narrated from on high, creating a scrim that makes this particular world initially difficult to enter.

Leading in liminal places: Emily Perlow at TEDxWPI

Early on, the novel seems to flirt with allegory, suggesting it might be a parable about civilization, containing universal truths of men and power, progress and complacency. Toward the end, however, this falls away and the book takes a crazy turn toward the fantastical and truly bizarre. This comes at a cost, as the gain in scale reduces the psychological and emotional stakes.

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Fantasy might be cool when it detaches this far from reality, but it also lacks punch. The effect is like that of a snow globe, a world that remains inaccessible no matter how much fun it is to look at. Chabi, his protagonist, is a half-Mongolian, half-black physical prodigy and all-around renegade adolescent girl in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her gifts include extreme levels of endurance, strength and dexterity — but her mental fortitude is what really makes her special.

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As a student of the enigmatic Narayana, Chabi is introduced to secrets of martial arts, but also to a kind of crypto-cosmology and an underworld or underlayer to reality, where her skills are necessary and valuable. When Liz has an intuition, she is absolutely certain that her friend Blake, who lives across the continent and has recently gone missing, is in trouble, so she crosses the country, boyfriend in tow, to help find him.