Friday, October 12, 2007

Review in Locus Magazine

These days, I don't do a whole lot of lurking by the mailbox or waiting by the phone. I'd like to say that this is due to an increased level of maturity or self-assurance, but I don't think that's it since I check my email approximately once every 18 seconds. A much more plausible explanation is that I just don't get much interesting mail or many phone calls (except for telemarketers who invariably ask to speak to my mommy, since I apparently have the phone voice of a four-year-old -- I never know what to say when they ask that, since it was drilled into me at a young age that it's unsafe to admit that your mom isn't home).

Anyway, I just spent the last week lurking by my mailbox. Not literally. You don't want to lurk by our mailbox. It's draped in spiderwebs. And they're not those pretty Charlotte's Web kind of spiderwebs, all glistening with dew in the morning and causing you to muse on the ephemeral beauty of nature and yada yada. We're talking I-eat-bugs-the-size-of-raccoons kind of spiderwebs. Seriously, it looks like we're decorated for Halloween year-round. My lurking was more of the watch-for-the-mailman-then-pounce variety.

You see, on October 2nd, I got an email from a friend that said, "Congrats on the great review of Into the Wild in the October issue of Locus!"

The what?!?

My October issue hadn't arrived yet, you see, and I'd given up hope that Into the Wild would be reviewed in Locus. (Locus is a trade magazine for the fantasy and science fiction publishing industry. It's the only magazine that I read cover to cover the instant it arrives -- I even study the ads.) So I sauntered out to the mailbox, fought my way through the spiderwebs with a machete, and checked the mailbox. No Locus.

Next day, no Locus.

And the next, no Locus.

The following day, I forgot to bring my machete, was caught by a giant spider, used a pocket knife to saw my way through the cocoon... Okay, that's totally not true. I don't carry a pocket knife.

Anyway, it seems that my mailman has a unique delivery schedule for my copy of Locus. Usually, the magazine arrives around the first of the month, except for months when I'm desperate to read it. Then it comes around the 10th! I should have remembered this from a previous waiting-for-Locus experience. If I had, I could have saved myself much lurking, because sure enough, it arrived today!

So that you don't have to fight any of your own spiders, here's the full text:

"Julie seems like a normal kid, but her mom's Rapunzel, the wicked witch is her grandmother, and there's a piece of the Wild living under her bed trying to turn her sneakers into seven-league boots. This young-adult fantasy isn't a retelling of fairy tales as much as it is about the nature of fairy tales, but it manages to have fun with a lot of the old favorites, from the seven dwarfs as difficult dinner guests to Rapunzel as a hair stylist. Somehow all the fairy tale characters managed to escape their endlessly cycling roles, reducing their world, the Wild, to the tangle under Julie's bed. (They tried to keep it in the cellar, but it did weird things to the plumbing.) Any use of magic feeds the Wild and makes it stronger. But then someone manages to make a forbidden wish and sets the Wild free -- and the first person to disappear back into the Wild is Rapunzel. The Wild quickly becomes a forest and starts to take over the town. Fairy tale refugees are fleeing, the police have no clue what they're up against, and it's up to Julie to rescue her mom and save the world. It's an interesting take on fairy tales." -- Carolyn Cushman, Locus Magazine

Oh, and now that I'm writing this, I realize that I never posted about two other reviews that I recently came across. This one from Teen Book Review just makes me blush...

"INTO THE WILD is one of the most original fantasy books I've read in ages. These fairy tales aren't what you think they are. Rather than changing a fairy tale like is often done in books, Sarah Beth Durst takes every fairy tale you've ever heard and makes it real, and dangerous. And she does so brilliantly! I can't even find the words I'm really looking for to describe how amazing this book is. Run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore or library and get a copy today!" -- Teen Book Review (click here for full review)

And thanks to the wonders of the internets, I found this from the Leaf-Chronicle newspaper of Clarksville, Tennessee:

"INTO THE WILD by Sarah Beth Durst combines realistic fiction with fantasy to come up with an extraordinary tale of fitting in and courage." -- Debbie Shoulders, Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle (click here for full review)

No spiders were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

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