A Shadow in Summer

A Shadow in Summer
Daniel Abraham, 2006

Premise: An assortment of unique characters plot with and against each other about the future of a powerful merchant city-state.

While I really enjoyed reading A Shadow in Summer, it's been a couple of days since I finished it, and I'm already having trouble remembering it. I thought it was well done, an interesting magic system, pretty neat characters, but I don't know...it just didn't hook me completely.

The prologue was a bit intimidating in its use of new terminology; it took me a while to figure out what was going on. Once the story picked up I liked it (and understood it) more.

I liked Amat, the older overseer, a lot at the start, but she didn't really grow on me. I liked the main two young men, both conflicted and searching for purpose. The magic was neat, it centers on binding ideas into a human form and using them to accomplish tasks. The people who can do this are called poets, which frankly confused me for a chapter or two until I figured out what they could do. The primary andat (idea given form) in this book was called Seedless, and he was an interesting character, snarky and inhuman.

I did keep mentally comparing it to the Calliope issue of Sandman, even though it's a fairly different idea.

I appreciated that the denizens of that country had a whole second language made up of gesture, but I did get a little tired of reading “[whoever] took a pose of query/of apology/of affirmation” without having any idea what it looked like. Just a hair cutesy for me.

I did enjoy the book, but I didn't love it. Will I read the next one? Maybe if I see it in the Library.

3 Stars – A Good Book


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