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Erika Swyler

Författare till The Book of Speculation

3+ verk 2,512 medlemmar 153 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Inkluderar namnet: Erika Swyler

Foto taget av: Erika Swyler

Verk av Erika Swyler

The Book of Speculation (2015) 2,166 exemplar
Light from Other Stars (2019) 299 exemplar

Associerade verk

Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 (2014) — Illustratör — 62 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Land (för karta)
Long Island, New York, USA
New York University
Kort biografi
Author of LIGHT FROM OTHER STARS, and the national bestseller THE BOOK OF SPECULATION. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Literary Hub, Catapult Story, VIDA, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She lives on Long Island, NY, where she writes, bakes, is a casual runner, and has strong feelings about typewriters.



Goodreads defines three stars as "I liked it" and that's fair but I can't go higher than that for this book.

In the modern part of the story a librarian, his sister who reads the Tarot, a couple of neighbors and a carnival worker covered in octopus tentacle tattoos try to figure out how to put an end to a centuries long curse on a family of "mermaids". In the flashback part of the story we learn the origins of the curse back in the late 1700s. This is all very weird, of course, and I actually liked most of it but there were just too many things I wanted to know more about. We eventually learn the connections of the modern characters to the historical ones but only in a quick rushed sequence at the end and I wanted to understand much more about those relationships and how they got to where they were. I wanted to know more about the very beginning and who/what exactly was Evangeline's (the original mermaid) father. And why all the weirdness with the horseshoe crabs?

I think I just needed a few more chapters in the past and present to tie things into a neater bow for me.

… (mer)
hmonkeyreads | 122 andra recensioner | Jan 25, 2024 |
I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Actual rating: 3.5/5

I quite enjoyed this book, and it was easily one of the best debuts I've read so far this year. The story was captivating, and the writing flowed easily. The book is split between the present, where we follow Simon and his research into the family history, and the past, where we get to see the origin of the family itself. For most of the book, I actually enjoyed the parts set in the past more than the present. As much as I was interested in seeing Simon unravel the secrets of his family to understand the curse that threatens his sister's life, I have to admit that most of the time I was just bored as he did enormous amounts of research to discover stuff I had mostly figured out already. I found his story to really pick up and become interesting around the 80% mark, which was way too late for me. On the other hand, I was really invested in the "past sections" and I would actually have loved to have a deeper insight into the daily lives of the colourful cast of characters that formed the travelling show.

Speaking of characters, I was slightly disappointed by them. I felt that the whole cast just had so much potential, as each of them was carrying the weight of their past, and battling their own personal demons. There was such a wide range of characters and a variety of backgrounds, it being mostly set in a circus environment, that I felt it was really a shame that we didn't get to see more of them and to explore their personalities in more depth. This book was definitely plot driven, and it just felt to me as if a character was only recognised as far as he/she was instrumental to the plot. We only ever saw the parts of their personalities, their abilities or even the characters themselves when they were necessary to advance the plot, and practically never for the sake of getting to know the character personally. And that's perfectly fine, if you like books that focus more on the plot. If, however, like me you're obsessed with characters and getting to know as much as possible about them in the 300-or-so pages you've been gifted, you're likely to be left disappointed by this.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, if at times a little too slow, particularly in the middle section. The author put in place a compelling story, narrated with great ability. She also managed to weave in magical elements seamlessly, and actually for a moment had me believing in mermaids and curses as if they were as common as cats and pizza. I'll definitely be on the lookout for her future work!
… (mer)
bookforthought | 122 andra recensioner | Nov 7, 2023 |
I miss Simon, Enola, and Doyle.
Bebe_Ryalls | 122 andra recensioner | Oct 20, 2023 |
This was a great book. At first, some of the events made me think it was turning into horror. It is not horror however, but does end up being a powerful story about the interconnectedness of time, love, and the challenge of grieving.
JRobinW | 15 andra recensioner | Jan 20, 2023 |



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