Saturday, December 12, 2009
The Angel In The Darkness - Kage Baker
buy - author site
The Deal: At this point in time, due to an RSI, I can only type for 10 minutes at a time. What you see below is what is hammered out before the timer goes off- and nothing more.
Maria Aguilar is over-weight, over-worked, and over just about everything. She's the responsible child who never became her own person, growing up only to remain the responsible child looking after the entire family and that being taken for granted.
It's a slim little volume, and being a novella that I recall devouring on a train trip, I did not spend much time with her, and such she did not get a great chance to imprint herself or her story upon me. But I remember Maria, and the peculiar incidents that disturbed her life, growing in significance and menace, and I remember caring about the extra stress that put upon her, when she had more than enough already. She's an immaculately drawn character. She's a person, she's the sort of person that, when we encounter in real life, we say to each other, "she's a real character."
This novella ties in with Baker's series dealing with time-spanning Company, none of which I've read. This story did intrigue me, however, if this is Maria's only appearance, am I really that interested?
Well, yes. Clearly Baker has characterisation down to a fine art, and there's nothing like being forced to care about someone who doesn't exist to make us feel a story.
Verdict: I'd say this is a good litmus test for Baker's writing. I really enjoyed it, well-balanced and well-paced.
Thanks to Miss Apricot for the photo. She approves of this book far more than Punktown, but only because she hasn't read it and didn't see all the murder and whatnotting going on.