Small Places Paperback – May 2, 2021
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- ASIN : B093T4VY4T
- Publisher : Independently published (May 2, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 329 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8740376363
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.75 x 8 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#4,656,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #82,722 in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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That is not to say Small Places does not stand on its own merits, because it absolutely does. In spite of having a name that evokes visions of cramped settings, it is very much a character-driven novel. Written in first-person (I know, controversial, but I am good with it) from Jamie’s point of view, it would be difficult to be anything but. I think the author made the right choice with respect to perspective, because as a reader I enjoyed seeing things through Jamie’s eyes as he experiences new worlds, creatures, and adventures. There are too many of those to name them all, but Jamie encounters faery worlds full of trolls, elves, giants, Orcs, centaurs, and even different combinations of all of the above en route to trying to save the world.
Did I mention there are witches? I did not, because they deserve their own paragraph. There are a few present in the book, but Melusine (“Mel”) is the main one. Mel is the one who convinces Jamie to join her on this journey to the faery realm (and more, besides). She is funny and snarky and OLD and is not here to take crap from anyone, especially not some 20-something who knows jack about the world outside of his box. She is not afraid to say so, either. The dynamics between Mel and Jamie (and Mel and everyone/everything else, honestly) kept me going, even when there were lulls in the story. She definitely steals the show.
There is a lot to like about this book. Small Places is fun and well-imagined, with interesting characters and themes that hold up well in today’s world (climate crisis, acceptance, gender dynamics). I recommend it for fans of fantasy, especially those of urban fantasy – a category which fits this book quite well.
There are so many different twists on stories of magic and fantasy. When Jamie meets Melusine (Mel) again, she needs his help and will pay him. Gaia is in trouble, wreaking havoc on Earth. The only way to stop it is to get the fey, both from the Seelie (think of them at the “good” fey) and Unseelie (the “bad” fey who practice dark magic) courts to help her. The two courts do not trust each other, so it will be no small feat to accomplish. And she needs Jamie. Why exactly she needs Jamie is something we really don’t know, but she is willing to take him on as an apprentice. He has no magical ability, which is very interesting. In just about all fantasy books, the main protagonist has some magical ability. Jamie has none that he demonstrates nor any affinity for it.
Small Places is fun, albeit sometimes gritty, ride from start to finish. While the pacing was a little slow at first and quite a bit happened towards the end of the book, it is off-set by excellent character development. Jamie and Melusine are not only well-developed characters, they interact on a realistic level. They are a perfect complement to each other, she the witch of blood and flesh, and he the human with no magical ability save his courage and loyalty. The fae are interesting in that the Seelie and Unseelie courts are the exact opposite, one prissy and aloof, the other paranoid and dangerous. All of these characters put aside their differences for the greater good of saving Gaia. The story of saving Gaia, the earth spirit, can almost be a metaphor for us and how we are treating this planet. A small group of magical beings and one human save the earth. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Small Places is an excellent addition to the urban fantasy genre and I highly recommend it.