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Botanica Blues (2012)

by Tristan J. Tarwater(Favorite Author)
3.75 of 5 Votes: 1
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review 1: Botanica Blues is a pithy thriller in the Lovecraftian mode (which this book made me realize can segue quite seamlessly into detective fiction). Our hero, Luis Quintana, is a private investigator who is called in on religious crimes. His assignment? A grizzly murder scene that has his guts roiling and his mind reeling. Although I often find myself quibbling with authors on word placement, or other issues of style, I found myself stashing those surface complaints in the face of a tightly paced story, a gripping set of flashbacks, and a fantastic conclusion. Quintana's Puerto Rican roots lend more than flavor to the text--they cut right to the core of the genre. To be able to struggle with madness is a luxury that's only given to the upholders of order. For me, no matter h... moreow much I want to fall into Lovecraft's world(s), his sensibilities are so jarringly out of sync with my own, the madness at the loss of what he considers to be order feels quaint. In Bontanica Blues, I'm in a thoroughly modern world. And suddenly, that distancing of "quaint" attitudes is stripped away. And I can keenly feel the jaws of madness. Because the story took me away from my editor-brain, and plunged me into a world that's too horrifying to consider, Bontanica Blues earns five stars.
review 2: After reading Thieves at Heart and its prequel, Little Girl Lost, I have to say I enjoyed Botanica Blues more than both. Fast-paced, gritty, and atmospheric, Botanica Blues is a tight little urban fantasy / horror tale with some strong Lovecraftian influences -- right down to the ending.Tristan Tarwater's writing is strongest when it comes to detail -- every page bursts with sensory details and evocative imagery, and Botanica Blues is no exception. In terms of description and setting, it's a big step up from Tarwater's previous work.Unfortunately, while I really liked the protagonist, I found myself with the same complaint I had about Thieves at Heart -- the protagonist runs around a lot, but doesn't really seem to accomplish much, instead just commenting and observing while things happen around him. In this case, an ineffectual protagonist serves the story a great deal better, so overall this is a mild criticism. less
Reviews (see all)
A short exciting novella. a mix between Lovecraft and mod-noir
Terrifying and atmospheric and mysterious and SO cool.
An unsettling story. that I wished was longer
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