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Pandaemonium (Daemonomicon) by Ben Macallan

Pandaemonium (Daemonomicon) (edition 2012)

by Ben Macallan

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Title:Pandaemonium (Daemonomicon)
Authors:Ben Macallan
Info:Solaris (2012), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantasy, chaz

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Pandaemonium by Ben Macallan



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'Pandæmonium' starts where 'Desdæmona', the first book of Ben Macallan's Dæmonomicon leaves off: yes, just precisely there. If you've read 'Desdæmon'a, you know why I am grinning inwardly as I type that line; if you haven't, you could still follow and enjoy the narrative of 'Pandæmonium', but it would be a pity to spoiler the earlier book, and an even greater pity to miss it.

So, we've had Desdæmona from Jordan's point of view, powerful, self-possessed and irresistible, and now Desdæmona herself picks up the story. She's as fast talking as she's fast moving, a geek girl with a quick wit and an answer for everything, but sometimes those answers come just a bit too fast to be entirely convincing: whenever she says no, nothing like that, I think oh, maybe... "Desdæmona's done a bad, bad thing. Again." says the cover copy - and it's true, but she had the best of reasons, she just didn't expect it to turn out like this.

So now someone - but who, of the many powerful people she has dcrossed? - is out to get her, and she is pursued by a fine selection of menaces, from the Twa Corbies in the sky to the the great wyrm ("our home-grown, English dragon[s]", so much less splendid than the legendary kind) in the underground. Some of her allies are almost as alarming - Reno, for example, protector of the Stranded - others are sheer joy. There's that horse, for example, the one on the cover:

"You could make a horse of the rain on the wind, all chill and bitter motion. You could make a horse of moonlight on a millpond, bright stillness over depth. You could make a horse of stone and grass, or of ink on paper, or..."

The writing's beautiful, of course (Ben Macallan is our very own Chaz Brenchley, and he's found a voice for his heroine which allows him to have serious geek fun) and the invention magnificent. The action's fast and furious, with plenty of roller derby to balance the abundance of boyfriend: there's a midnight ride to the north, there's a motorbike rescue, there's even some fancy roller-blading through the streets of London. I do occasionally want to shake Desdæmona, to tell her to stop running and think, but surely this is intentional. There's a hint in the conclusion that there may be some learning in store, as well as some hugging.

It's a good conclusion, but it doesn't quite feel like an ending. It's a teasing equilibrium, rather than the shock twist of 'Desdæmona', but it leaves me feeling there is more to know about these people. And since the dedication calls it "this second half of a still unfinished story", I can hope that I may get to find it out.
  shewhomust | Nov 16, 2012 |
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Desdaemona's done a bad thing. So she's back on the road. And where better to look for shelfter than with the boy she was running from before? And trouble follows. The deadly Twa Corbies chase her. Deep under London, among the lost and rejected of two worlds, answers begin to emerge from her hidden past.… (more)

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