Someplace to be Flying: Memorable, quixotic, original characters

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsurban fantasy book reviews Charles de Lint Someplace to be FlyingSomeplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint

Someplace to be Flying is the story of a gypsy cab driver and a freelance photographer who meet each other during a chance encounter with the “Animal People” in a dark alley in the familiar setting of Newford. This glimpse into a magical other world leaves them reeling, and as they seek out an explanation for the impossible, they are drawn deeper into the world of the Animal People, and the ongoing war between Raven and Coyote.

Someplace to be Flying starts out with a bang, but then slows down to introduce a large and varied cast of supporting characters and some mythology and backstory. Once the action starts up, though, it is almost impossible to put the book down. It draws you along as you get absorbed into Charles de Lint’s vivid, detailed descriptions of his world.

While Charles de Lint normally focuses on the smaller magics and hidden mysteries that surround us on a daily basis, Someplace to be Flying has a much larger focus. The final battle is over an object of such incredible power that it has the ability to destroy the entire world. This enlarged scope adds to the power of the story, and is as close to epic fantasy as de Lint gets.

De Lint’s story telling capabilities shine in Someplace to be Flying and this book deserves an extra star for the creation of the Crow Girls, two of the most memorable, quixotic, original characters I’ve ever read. They add a fascinating touch of dark whimsy to the story. De Lint treats the Native American mythology with respect, while still creating a compelling urban fantasy novel. I highly recommend Someplace to be Flying to all readers.

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RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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