When I first started reading the book, I was a bit stumped (if you'll pardon the horrible pun) when I realized that the seeming main character, Smith Delaney, was tied to a pole in the middle of a lagoon, waiting for carnivorous mermonkeys to kill him. I was scratching my head, wondering how on earth Polivka was going to pull this off.
And then, even stranger, Delaney started remembering a tale told to him and his former crewmates by Ham Drumbone. As if that wasn't enough, we then dove directly into Ham's story, following Jenta Stillmithers and Damrick Fellows through their trials and travails.
So it went, bouncing from Jenta and Damrick to the pirates hearing their story to poor old Delaney, stuck on his pole. When I realized that's what was going on, I was a little worried. How well could this work?
As it turns out, very well. I never got lost in the telling. I was able to keep the overlapping stories straight and it really augmented the story, even though we had advance warning about some of the things that would happen.
It's a great storytelling strategy, especially if you can pull it off well. It actually reminded me of Mary Doria Russell's two sci-fi books. I'm not sure if I could do it, but after reading Blaggard's Moon, I'm surely tempted to try.
Go and see what else the tourists have to say this month:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson