Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones

March 18, 2005 at 12:00 am | Posted in 3 stars, Book Reviews, Fantasy | Leave a comment

This was a fun little book. It’s what I define as light SF (or in this case really fantasy) in that it doesn’t take itself seriously and is more about humor and character than plot. It’s not straight humor like Pratchett writes, but it isn’t serious either. The best analogue I have read recently would be To Say Nothing of the Dog, which many people really love but I didn’t particularly like. I found this book a great deal better. The only thing standing in the way of an unqualified recommendation is the amount of genre inside baseball. Most of the book takes place at an SF convention. The setting provides a lot of very obvious riffs on conventions that I, as someone who has never been to a convention and doesn’t anticipate going to one any time soon, could understand but not really relate. I’m sure a little domain experience would make some of it more funny, but I found it rather tiresome. Fortunately it doesn’t torpedo the story, which is actually quite good. In the end I found myself wishing Jones had used her characters and often fascinating created world in a more serious story, which I guess is a compliment. For those who have read this already (though this is not a spoiler), I will add that I feel the book is a textbook example of how over-explanation is harmful, not helpful.


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