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Jacks And Queens At The Green Mill (2012)

by Marie Rutkoski(Favorite Author)
3.41 of 5 Votes: 5
1466831332 (ISBN13: 9781466831339)
Tor Books
review 1: This was a tiny novella from Marie Rutkoski's The Shadow Society series. In a short space of time it introduced us to a very unique and intriguing alternate 1920s Chicago. A Chicago of hidden wars, Shades, and parallel universes. It also introduced us to two very interesting characters in the burnt gangster Joe and the Shade Zephyr. I was totally sucked into the story and would definitely like to read the main series after reading this novella. Rating: 4.5 stars.
review 2: On October 8th, 1874, in an alternate universe, the people of Chicago orchestrated the mass extinction of a race of amorphous creatures known as the “Shade.” This genocide was disguised under the pretense of a massive firestorm that near burnt the entire city to cinders, the so-called
... moreGreat Chicago Fire.” But this was not the end of the shadow war, as another alternate universe of Shades immediately felt the excruciating absence of an aspect of themselves; a sort of “phantom-limb” sensation of the body and soul. Zephyr is one of the last of the shades in this universe and is determined to amass a stockpile of weapons to go to war for the existence of her people. The only thing between her and what she wants however happens to be a young Mafia guard with a disfigured face and a knack for sweet-talk.I was surprised with how short this story felt overall considering its approximate 32 page length. It was a total breeze, undemanding and wholly comprehensible. The explanation of the alternate universes and how the shades’ empathetic link allows them to feel and traverse across different dimensions could have been better explained, but overall it felt like a serviceable story.The central “conflict” and it’s “resolution” felt a bit ham-handed. Why would Zephyr spare Joe? Some reluctant affection for an individual funneled through the misguided indignation and resentment of an entire race? I don’t know. It was an okay story though. Not great, not euphorically prosaic and life-affirming, just okay. Besides, for such an average story there’s a ton of really great descriptions and line in this one. And Okay stories are…okay. less
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I loved the language and how I could visualize everything.
3/5 stars
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