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Month in review

Reviews
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld
Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe
Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes
Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova
Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase
Classified as Murder by Miranda James
The Clue at Black Creek Farm by Carolyn Keene
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien
Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles by Mark Russell and Mike Feehan
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
Giant Days: Extra Credit by John Allison
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Ice Witch by Joel Ross
It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
Kraken by Wendy Williams
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh
Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames
Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbitt and Ross Collins
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
The Million by Karl Schroeder
Monoceros by Suzette Mayr
Paradox in Oz by Edward Einhorn and Eric Shanower
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Restart by Gordon Korman
Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Weather or Not by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

Miscellaneous
Cybils Update (October 16)
Cybils Update (October 23)
Cybils Update (October 30)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 01)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 08)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 15)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 22)
September 2018 Sources
September 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FFCC99: Orphan Uhoria Labyrinth
FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Blue Highway: A comparison of The Sentinel and Three-Quarters Dead
FFCC00: Orphan Uhoria Interstate: The Polar Express, Waiting for Augusta, and Winterhouse
FF99FF: Orphan wildlands cornfield
Road Narrative Update for September 2018

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4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish



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FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Blue Highway: A comparison of The Sentinel and Three-Quarters Dead: 10/11/18

FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Blue Highway

The examples I'm finding most readily for the orphan uhoria blue highway road narrative are all ghost stories. The salient qualities of this narrative are the solo traveler: an orphan either literally or figuratively; a destination or location out of time; and access to a road that isn't as sure a bet as a railroad or an interstate. As many traditional "Blue Highways" (the US Highway system that predates the Interstate system) were routed through towns, for city centered narratives, I classify them as blue highways.

Two prime examples of this narrative type are Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck (2010) and The Sentinel by Jeffrey Kovitz (1974). One could even argue that Three Quarters Dead is a YA retelling (minus the Catholicism and homophobia) of The Sentinel.

So how do these two stories fit into "orphan uhoria blue highway"?

First and foremost they have a solo protagonist — one person who can interact with the people and places that are out of time. In both cases the protagonist is a young woman. In the 1974 version, she's an adult. In the 2010 version, she's a high school sophomore. Interestingly, Beck gives his high schooler more agency over her destination than Kovitz does to his.

The uhoria here isn't one so much of the protagonist being out of time or going somewhere out of time. Instead for Allison Parker (the model) and Kerry (the sophomore) it means interacting with people who are out of time — because they are dead. By no means does death have to be the defining feature for uhoria in an FFCC33 narrative, but ghosts are one way of bringing together two disparate times.

Finally there is the "blue highway" which is really a catch all for roads that are well defined but aren't as "on rails" as a railroad or an interstate. While railroads and interstates can (and do) go through big cities, they are better known for cutting straight lines through the wilderness and bypassing society.

In the two examples here, the orphans encounter uhoria inside New York apartments. For Allison, she's been lured into an apartment filled with damned souls who refuse to go to hell and are living (or reliving) their sinful lives in an apartment over a hell-mouth. Allison doesn't figure out the truth of her situation until near the end — as this horror. Mind you two of the villains are lesbians, which says more about the author's own hangups than anything else.

Peck's exploration of death is more effective because Kelly knows her friends are dead. The title is a play on that fact; she was the only survivor of the foursome because she wasn't with them when they crashed. The foursome is three-quarters dead at first because Kelly survived, and later because they are nearly corporeal ghosts who refuse to die until they get to the prom they had so obsessively planned for.

Both uhoric apartments are set within Manhattan. Though Kelly's ghosts are "living" in near past, they also recapitulate the hedonistic playing of a previous trio of girls — one of whom is the surviving, very old Aunt Lily. Their tastes for fancy food and their roller skating parties in the abandoned penthouse bring to mind both the "perverted parties" of The Sentinel as well as the blood sacrifice of "Lullaby of Broadway" from Gold Diggers of 1935 — a much darker version of the song than it's later use in the 1980s Broadway adaptation of 42nd Street.

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