"'You know what the sun looks like?' Kaye asked. There was only a little more than a slice of red where the sea met the sky.
'No, what?' Janet said, holding the lipgloss out to Kaye.
'Like he slit his wrists in a bathtub and the blood is all over the water.'"
"A crow had settled in the tree, black feathers shimmering with color, like gasoline floating on the surface of water."
"'People do not visit me. Being social to me is, like, tempting the Apocalypse or something.'"
"'Pixie dust. Like angels make angel dust. International drug cartels grab seraphim and shake 'em. Priests who sweep up churches put that stuff in Ziploc baggies.'"
"'I wonder about death, I who may never know it. It looks much like ecstasy, the way they open their mouths as they drown, the way their fingers dig into your skin. Their eyes are wide and startled and they thrash in your hands as though with an excess of passion.'"
"'More, I think. Crippled things are always more beautiful. It's the flaw that brings out beauty.'"
"Coercive as coma, frail as bloom
innuendoes of your inverse dawn
suffuse the self;
our every corpuscle become an elf."
"Moreover, the Moon." The Lost Lunar Baedeker
"Down the hill I went, and then,
I forgot the ways of men
For night-scents, heady, and damp and cool
Wakened ecstasy in me."
"August Moonrise," Flame and Shadow
"For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror we can just
and we admire it so because it calmly disdains
to destroy us."
—Rainer Maria Rilke, "The First Elegy," Duino Elegies
"Better to reign in Hell, then to serve in Heav'n."—Milton, Paradise Lost (Book I)
"A word is dead
when it is said
I say it just
begins to live
-Emily dickinson, "VI.A Word"
Our hero, Kaye, has always seen faeries and their ilk. Her mother dismisses these characters as imaginary friends and Kaye has always accepted her weirdness makes her difference from other people her own age. But when she moves back home and meets up with her old friends she realises just how different she is from her few friends.
I really enjoyed this book. Urban fantasy seems to be one of those growing sub-genres that you really have to watch out for. Sometimes the books are terribly derivative and have obviously been written to cash in on the popularity of the genre. This is not the case with Tithe.
It starts off maybe in the same way as quite a few other books. A girl who is different from others, who is more than what she appears, who never seems to fit in. It isn’t exactly a new idea. But then again, how many new ideas are there really out there? It is what the author does with these ideas that is important. And in this case Black creates a believable teenage character, as well as a believable world and plenty of interesting secondary characters.
For those of you interested in such things, this is a YA novel, however mine carries a parental advisory tag. Which is weird, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a novel with one before.
And I suppose in a way it deserves it, there is plenty of violence and death and whatnot going on. The faeries here are not the fluttery, cute sort. But unlike The Tooth Fairy I felt that in this case their behaviour fit the story and wasn’t just there for the reader to gasp in horror or amazement, or whatever.
I guess you could say thumbs up then, but now I’ve got to go find some more by Black, such are the perils of reading and liking a book...Continua