Sunday, October 31, 2010

Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman

Frank Portman's first book, King Dork, was awesome. I had very high expectations for Andromeda Klein. It took me a little while to get used to the writing, and I kind of never caught on with the tarot stuff, but I really ended up liking the book. The best part of the book was Andromeda herself. She's a weedgie (Basically Wicca) outcast with poor hearing. The poor hearing led to the lexicon, words and phrases misheard, things like "mushroom" for bathroom and "don't die" for goodbye. Her mother is incredibly overbearing and her father is very anti-government and sees conspiracy theories in everything. She also hears a voice in her head, a running commentary she thinks of as AAK, or altiverse Andromeda Klein. AAK turns out to be an HGA, or holy guardian angel, or as it prefers, Huggy. Which amused me a lot, both the voice and the name Huggy.

The major plot centers around Andromeda's best friend Daisy. They had done their weedgie ceremonies together, then Daisy died of leukemia. Since then, Andromeda has felt Daisy's presence around. Her tarot predictions start coming true. If that weren't enough, add in the boy trouble. St. Steve was an older guy she took up with for a while. He broke up with her via "Hi there" text message, but suddenly starts texting again. Then her friends make an effort to set her up with Byron, an emogeekian with a cthulu rock obsession. If all that wasn't enough, the International House of Bookcakes (LOVE that name), AKA the library she works at, is weeding out books, especially the old magic books she needs for her weedgie practices and research.

So, there's a lot going on in the book, as you can tell. It all fits together well, and I enjoyed the ending. I think it wouldn't hurt to reread the book at some point in the future, to see if retrospect reveals anything I missed this time around. There's a lot to be said for the magic of the book. Was it all coincidence, or was there something more mysterious going on?

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