- Paperback: 286 pages
- Publisher: 47North (April 12, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1503951200
- ISBN-13: 978-1503951204
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,618,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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New Charity Blues Paperback – April 12, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
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From Publishers Weekly
Griep dives into the dystopian genre in this outstanding novel, which challenges preconceptions of the genre. After a plague ravages a once-thriving world, a harsh rivalry emerges between two immune communities: the decaying City, and the idyllic New Charity. Cressyda, a New Charitan fleeing her former life, is caught up in a political struggle when she returns to New Charity in the wake of her father's mysterious death. Cressyda clashes with her childhood friends, Len and Cas Willis, as she tries to understand the dangerous thrall New Charity is under. Griep's writing is fresh and intense, imbued with suspense. She excels at the rich imagining of a world where magic, science, and politics intertwine. The spunky heroine is doubtful and questioning, and those who are vital to the oligarchical power structure might also topple it. Most vividly, Griep plumbs questions of what home means, and what it means to have a safe place in the midst of chaos. (Apr.)\n
From Library Journal
A plague has decimated the planet’s population. Former ballerina Cressyda resides in the City, a community of survivors that remains a collapsed ruin compared to New Charity. This society stands strong behind its wall, with a hydroelectric dam that ensures no one from the City can access that water. When Syd learns she has inherited her father’s New Charity ranch, she returns both to the family she left behind years ago and to her then best friend, Casandra. Cas, a seer and acolyte to the Spirit, knows that Syd wants to open the dam for everyone, whatever the cost to New Charity. The two women realize that the dam draws on strange magic that, if tampered with, could be dangerous. Syd must find a way that allows both settlements to survive, despite her unearthing of the depth of New Charity’s corruption—and the facts of her own father’s murder. VERDICT In a story of family and betrayal, community and survival, Griep (Letters to Zell) reimagines a post-apocalyptic Trojan War that brings new life to a classic epic. (Starred Review)
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I highly commend her book to your reading pleasure.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-1pC
Griep has added a potpourri of extrasensory talents to her tale of two communities dealing with the plague. Dwellers in New Charity routinely call music from the air, push plows and build dams with earth magic, cast fire from nothing, or boost the speed of racehorses by lending them air magic. At least they once did, before Cressyda left for the city to attend ballet school. Now, she would be barred from returning to the power-rich New Charity, except that she does have immunity, and she inherits a ranch from her late father, who had remained behind.
Cressyda (Syd) takes her late mother's Cressida (Toyota) back to the town above the dam, determined to release the water and power for the benefit of the city. But when she arrives, she finds a community that has surrendered power to its religious leader, and a dam and power station that is carefully guarded against seizure or diversion. She is drawn into the community like a Trojan Horse, holding the seeds of its destruction within her.
Speaking of which, if you're not prepared for it, the growing resemblances to the tale of the siege of Troy can be disturbing. Names that are given as nicknames early in the story are revealed as short versions of the Greek and Trojan names we are familiar with. By the time you get to a famous sculpture being dragged within the gates of the besieged community, well...
I almost put the book down when I reached that point. I'm glad now that I didn't. There is a less-distant echo from history in this tale, one that tastes slightly of grape Koolaid, and smells of a Guyanese jungle—and ever so faintly, of cyanide.
Another novel that drew, obviously and openly, from the tale of the Greek siege of Troy in Homer's "Iliad," is Sherri Tepper's "The Gate to Women's Country" The Gate to Women's Country. This was one of the first books I bought in Kindle format, because I re-read it at least once a year. Where Griep's novel is focused on the actions of the soldiers in this war between communities, Tepper's concentrates on the women who raise such soldiers, and their reluctance (mild word!) to surrender their son's lives to be wasted on the battlefield