Friday, October 8, 2010

"Wildfire in Manhattan" by Joanne Harris

This short felt a lot like a chapter from a yet to be finished novel. It's a whole world (nothing wrong with that), and it's all about gods (or aspects of gods) roaming around New York City, trying to avoid these wraith-like aspects of Chaos who seem to be bent on the destruction of every other god/aspect in town.

Again we have a pair of twins here - one is the aspect of Wildfire, and the other is the aspect of Hearth Fire. Wildfire, the main character, is portrayed as a gregarious wise-ass, which is unfortunate because it adds to the intense familiarity of the story.

Gods wandering the world of man; humorous trickster-like character. If any of this sounds familiar, as in Neil Gaiman in American Gods familiar, then you're not alone. It is, in fact, a lot like American Gods. Thor even makes an appearance.

I enjoyed this tidbit, but had a hard time getting past the similarities to Gaiman's novel. Especially when Gaiman wrote in his introduction to this volume that he was so often disappointed in the ruts that fantasy writers often travel in. And, he suggested, this collection would be something different. Well, strike one on that front.

Entertaining? Yes. Surprisingly original? Not so much.

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