Nova Ren Suma
It’s hard to know where to start to summarize this book, so I’ll take the cop out and start where Suma did, with Chloe standing on the edge of the reservoir (which you’ll get to know quite personally). Chloe is Ruby’s little sister. Ruby is the big sister every little sister dreams of. When we meet these sisters, Ruby is telling everyone at the party that Chloe could swim all the way across the reservoir and bring back a souvenir from Olive, one of the towns under the surface of the reservoir. Ruby spoke of how it was impossible for Chloe to drown because she would just grown fins and gills. After everyone chipped in the $20 Chloe said she would need to do it, she started across. She swam quickly into the reservoir, long stroke after stroke, until she hit the cold spot. She knew the town of Olive was below here. Ruby had told her the history of that town over and over again throughout her life. The swimming became harder, as Chloe pushed into the cold water. She came upon a row boat, placed quite conveniently. Throwing an arm over the gunwale, Chloe stopped to catch her breath. She listened to the sound of Ruby laughing in the distance. And then she felt something in the boat. Something cold. Someone dead.
The Fantasy Part:
To be honest, it’s hard to talk about anything in this book without giving something away. There’s magic here, sure, but Suma never lays it out for you so that all of your questions are answered, which is exactly what this book needed. In fairness to the book, that’s genuinely all I can tell you without having to cover the blog is spoiler warnings.
This book is enigmatic. Just when you think you’ve guessed what will happen next, Suma spins you off in an entirely different direction.
This story is so much more that I could ever describe to you. There’s mystery, magic and a true sense of immediacy. Reading this book felt like walking through a foggy forest, with bits of insight swirling out of the fog every few steps only to swiftly disappear in vapor.
The book isn’t light-hearted in any way, but it is a fairly quick read (thanks in large part to the constant sense of immediacy). However, the characters are built in a way that makes you invest in them immediately. You want Chloe and Ruby to be together. You want them to succeed and to be happy together.
Suma crafted a Fantasy Mystery that hooks into you and doesn’t let go until the very last page. She earns 5 ink bottles with ease: a great book for anyone. Really.