It took me a while to read Greg van Eekhout’s California Bones. He is a friend of mine, I was very motivated to read it; it is beautifully written and quite gripping. I found my putting-it-down-picking-it-up behavior rather puzzling. But now that it’s done, I see can why: yes, the book is a wonderful heist/magical mobster/alternate history yarn with excellent characters who stick with you and a compelling world I want to learn more about. (It’s also a wonderful start to a series.) You can read sum-ups of the plot and things over at the far more thorough review at i09.
But it is also about inheritance: emotional inheritance, familial inheritance. It is about family bonds broken and severed, and how a person goes about re-creating them. It is about inheritance that we did not want but that was given with love. It is about how everyone we hurt or love or take in affects who we are in a fundamental way. It was too real. I had to keep looking away. And in the end I wept.
Such a good, deep, strong, kind and frightening book. I am so glad he wrote it.