Spencer - Tinker

April 15, 2006

Wen Spencer
New York : Baen ; Godalming : Melia, 2003

Wen Spencer's Tinker is a joy to read. It is literate, fast-paced, compelling and smart. While there are times when the pace gets a little too fast, those are also the moments where our impatient heroine is getting flustered and, in pop military parlance, has let someone get inside her decision curve.

Tinker lives in the American city of Pittsburgh, which has been transferred to the alien planet of elfhome as a side-effect of a stargate in orbit over China. Well, alien is not quite the right word, alternate reality of elfhome might be better.

Spencer ends up tying together some of the cliches from the urban elf sub-genre with the more traditional tales of sidhe and oni and things that go bump in the night to create a coherent and compelling world.

Within this world we meet Tinker, a young lady who is very smart, very charismatic, not quite emotionally mature, and yet combines all of those traits into a compelling and very real character. She gets horny; she flirts; she invents things; she breaks the heart of one of her friends by accident; she is a highly effective person who is not a perfect person. The combination makes for good reading and a compelling lead character.

I could go on, but that would lead to even more spoilers than I have given here.

Highly recommended, and I am off to read more by Wen Spencer.

Posted by Red Ted at April 15, 2006 03:07 PM | TrackBack
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