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The Queen's Adept by Rodolfo…
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The Queen's Adept

by Rodolfo Martínez

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I am only giving this 3 stars because I think something was lost in the translation from the original Spanish, but this story stays with you in a vague, disturbing way. Part spy novel, part thriller, with lots of alien worldbuilding that is both familiar, and unreal. The main character is utterly despiccable and unsympathetic, and yet you are drawn to him, rooting for him to complete his mission, even as you ask yourself why. Although the protagonist uses invisible parasites called 'messengers' to meld people to his will, what Martinez has done is lead his reader down into the mind of a remorseless psychopath, and the women (and men) who seem helpless to do anything but fall under his spell, and made him real.

The first four chapters were rather slow and hard to grasp. Like Tolkein, if you slog through the first four chapters, the story is well worth the reading. If you happen to read Spanish, I suggest you read this story in the original langauge as the translation caused a subtle barrier to appear between author and reader at times that I'm certain doesn't exist in the original. I would say this story rises above the level of mere science fiction/fantasy to the level of literary fiction, so subtle and insidious is the web Martinez weaves. I think I am like the character Yosinda ... I hate that I liked it. ( )
  Anna_Erishkigal | Mar 30, 2013 |
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