Laura Resnick: Disappearing Nightly

I liked Disappearing Nightly, but I have a bit of trouble explaining why. It’s a light contemporary fantasy with a whodunnit flavor and a dash of romance. It partakes of several genres, and I didn’t think it succeeded particularly well at any one of them. A mystery novel, for instance, needs a bit more misdirection to establish red herrings. A romance requires more obstacles in the path of true love. In fantasy, I have a preference for either less capricious bounds on how magic works, or more laugh-out-loud zaniness (or, better yet, both). I also felt that Disappearing Nightly was juggling just a few too many thinly-drawn characters. But somehow, for me at least, it all added up to more than the sum of its parts — mostly due, I think, to the assuredness Resnick brings to the voice of Esther Diamond. She doesn’t feel too closely modeled on Stephanie Plum or Anita Blake or any of the other popular templates, and I found her congenial company. This is the first novel in a series, and I hoping it’s a series in which the author finds firmer footing as it evolves, rather than one that decays into formula, because, frankly, I find the titles of some of the later volumes irresistible: Dopplegangsters and Vamparazzi in particular.

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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