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Month in review

Reviews
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Autokind Vs. Mankind by Kenneth R. Schneider
Bat and Rat by Patrick Jennings
Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story by Frederik Peeters
Bohemians edited by Paul Buhle
By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
Clean Sweep! Frank Zamboni's Ice Machine by Monica Kulling
Cupcake Cousins by Kate Hannigan
Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente
Good-Bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson
Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic by Ursula Vernon
Hunters of Chaos by Crystal Velasquez
I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec
Little Robot by Ben Hatke
Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #3: Rarity by Katie Cook
One Book in the Grave by Kate Carlisle
The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel by Patti Laboucane-Benson
Sherlock Bones 1 by Yuma Ando
Summer Showers by Kate Hannigan
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow
Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety by Marjorie Garber
Wandering Son: Volume 2 by Shimura Takako

Miscellaneous
The road not taken

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home: 04/20/16

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente is the conclusion to the Fairyland series. In the last few pages of The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, much was revealed and the oddball book was firmly entangled into September's arc.

Although I had kept current with September's books, I forgot about the series long enough to miss the initial release of book four. It was in the announcement of pre-orders for the final volume that I finally purchased and read Hawthorne's piece in the adventures.

In that regard, reading the end of Fairyland was more like binge watching on Netflix, than in following a series as it is slowly and lovingly created and released. The book, though, is written expecting the loyal reader to have spent a year away from Fairyland and in need of refreshing. Therefore the first fifty pages or so are spent on recapping "last time in Fairyland."

Fairyland, like Oz, seems to chew through leaders at an unusual pace. In Oz, it's whomever can take the Emerald City and get into the palace gets to be ruler. At least, that is so until Ozma who seems to be as eternal a ruler as Princess Bubblegum. Fairyland, though, goes through rulers at such a quick pace that the land has evolved a system for picking a new one.

The method as the title implies, is a race. Rather it's more of a madcap caper with a dash a treasure hunt. Imagine if you will, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World blended with the original 39 Clues series but set in Fairyland. Or if you will, imagine Through the Looking Glass if Alice's moves across the world sized chessboard were a race instead.

But before the race can begin, a very bewildered September, now back to her original age at the time she last left for Fairyland, must re-learn all of the monarchs that came before her. She must also re-learn the rules of being monarch while picking how her new, because her old form counted as a different monarch.

As with anything in Fairyland, everything, even the race itself, is more metaphorical than literal. In that regard, the race is run and won in part by how well the participant relates to Fairyland. Strength of conviction in one's interpretation of Fairyland is the most important aspect of the race.

Thematically book five is a combination of Road to Oz and the Emerald City of Oz. Heroines who routinely visit a magical land eventually have to decide whether to live in their original world or their adopted magical one. With the four colored winds and the land being able to awaken anything that visits, it's no surprise that Fairyland would follow rules similar to those of Oz. September takes on the color of the ruling city state (and briefly tries ruling) as Dorothy becomes a Princess of Oz. Saturday becomes a Munchin or an honorary Scarecrow (who also briefly ruled Oz).

My three stars, then, are for the pacing issues at the beginning, and the neat and tidy way that every character, no matter how minor, is given one last scene. September's fate in Fairyland as predicted in the first book is finally revealed and it's a satisfying compromise given how she has grown across the series.

Three stars

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