Review | Friday 04 November 2011
Even with a weird name like Karou most people think this blue-haired art student is fairly normal as far as these things go, with a stalking gorgeous ex-boyfriend, a fabulous best friend, art school every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, part time job and so on. Except that there’s something interesting about this part time job. You might say she works in the family business but this sure as hell isn’t any sort of family you’ve seen before. Brimstone is the only (sort of) father she’s ever known, Issa the only (sort of) mother she knows. Think of the devil, old school, with horns and massive shoulders, with a strange fetish for collecting teeth and you’ve got Brimstone. Issa is a mixture of the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen and a giant cobra. Snake from the waist down, woman from the waist up, she nurtures and loves Karou as if she was her own.
Karou herself has bright blue hair that grows naturally from her head (although no one ever believes her when she tells them) and when she returns from errands picking up teeth from various other collectors around the world she earns scuppies, even bronze shings, or in other words, wishes. The scuppies only give small wishes, but for larger things there are shings or more. (Hence the bright blue hair).
So you might be thinking, OK this sounds fairly out there and terrific so why don’t I tell you what happens? The question really is what doesn’t happen! Family, friendship, doors into other worlds, angels, demons, wars for generations, everlasting love (Romeo and Juliet style) and more. I’m not going to say what happens because I am so excited about the next book that I’m too afraid of giving away something that must unfold naturally in this one.
And to be perfectly honest I have to agree with the line on the back of the book from Patrick Rothfuss, ‘Wow. I wish I had written this book.’
Kate Rockstrom is from Readings Carlton