Archivist Wasp

I would have liked this book more.
Archivist Wasp
Nicole Kornher-Stace, 2015

Premise: Every year, Wasp fights to keep the position of Archivist, the chosen one who researches ghosts. She will fall sooner or later, but first she finds a ghost unlike any she has seen before.

I feel some guilt about this review. This book was on my list because I'd read strongly positive reviews, but I didn't remember anything about the premise when I started.

The beginning grabbed me. We're dropped into the middle of a fight to the death, and only catch glimpses of the culture and world until Wasp wakes later, recovering from her wounds.

I also liked the ending.

I liked some aspects of the story in between, but I felt as though it didn't earn its implied emotional impacts. It didn't explain enough for me to care when twists came along to upend things. I didn't feel the payoff of the ending as much as I should have because I never fully understood the characters or the world.

Honestly, I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood for this story, but the book never fully won me over. It might have helped for me to be ready from the start for a truly non-traditional story that blends genres and tones. As it was, I found the shifts annoying (for a semi-spoilery example, going to the land of the dead for most of the book, when what I wanted was to understand more about Wasp's village).

I sympathized with Wasp, and there were moments of emotional depth, and intellectually I liked the ghost's story, but it wasn't quite the right blend of fantasy and sci-fi for me.

I think that there are many people who would love this book, but there just wasn't any overall satisfaction for me when I finished.

2 Stars - An Okay Book


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