When this book came out, it took me by surprise. Although I think I keep fairly close tabs on when VanderMeer’s books are coming out, I’d never heard of this one, until after it had already arrived.
This book is delightfully strange. It’s fascinating to me the way VanderMeer’s writing veers between clipped, terse (but not uninteresting) prose and surrealistic excess. This book sits firmly between the two extremes. The writing here isn’t always surreal, but the things that happen in it certainly are!
An alternate reality Aleister Crowley makes for a pretty excellent villain, all in all. This book has all the hallmarks of your typical YA teenage hero having adventures, but contorts them into curious (or peculiar) shapes.
I’m definitely looking forward to volume 2.