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The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl (edition 2005)

by Tim Pratt

Series: Rangergirl

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168770,815 (3.84)7
Member:bragan
Title:The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl
Authors:Tim Pratt
Info:Spectra (2005), Paperback, 402 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, read in 2012

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The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl by Tim Pratt

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» See also 7 mentions

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Genius Loci is a coffeeshop in Santa Cruz, California, a favorite hangout for oddball art students. It also happens to be the secret entrance to a prison that holds a powerful destructive entity, a god of earthquakes and mudslides and wildfires. Marzi, an employee at the coffeeshop, is the designated warden for this prison and its inhabitant, a job that's made a little more problematic by the fact that she thinks he's a fictional character she made up as part of the fantasy/western comic book she's writing... at least until people start showing up trying to set him free.

This isn't the best-written of Tim Pratt's works -- although that's a pretty high standard, as some of his short fiction is amazing -- and it feels to me as if it could and probably should have been a much more epic story than it was. But it was still fun, and wonderfully imaginative, and I do love the premise. I can't help thinking that it's got an oddly cinematic feel to it; I kept imagining it as a movie as I was reading. And I think it could make a surprisingly good one, too, if produced with a quirky indie film sensibility, a decent special effects budget, and some really strong art direction. ( )
  bragan | Nov 5, 2012 |
Supernatural western comic book creator's creations are a bit real - and dangerous. And crazy.

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2012/03/the-strange-adventures-of-range... ( )
  BlueTysonSS | Mar 20, 2012 |
Lots of fun, well written. Sadly, the final showdown doesn't quite hold up, and that's the scene the entire book builds toward. But a good read anyway. ( )
  Shmuel510 | Jul 23, 2011 |
Rangergirl is the name of the protagonist in a comic created by Marzi. She combats evil in an old western setting while her creator works as night manager of Genius Loci, a coffeehouse in Santa Cruz, after having dropped out of Art School due to a mental breakdown. When unspeakable evil escapes its confines in Genius Loci, Marzi has to step in. In her capacity of guardian her perception and imagination influences the manifestations of Evil, and forces it to conform to the structure of the Rangergirl universe. The Santa Cruz setting is welldrawn, and the otherworld of the Evil is inventively random and threatening, with that special western feel mixed with an Indiana Jones Egypt. ( )
  amberwitch | Jul 7, 2007 |
“The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl” lives up to its title in being, without a doubt, strange. A blend of contemporary fantasy, western, and obscure mythology, it isn’t like anything you’ve likely read before. However, at its core it is an unashamedly adventurous tale, and it succeeds on that level admirably.
Marzi is an artist living in Santa Cruz, California. She works at a coffee shop and draws comics. She’s had some success with her Rangergirl comic book, a punk western. Her friends are also mostly artists studying at UC Santa Cruz. She used to attend, but a couple years ago she had a mental breakdown, and since recovering and finishing therapy she hasn’t returned to school.

The coffee shop she works at turns out to be the center point of a long stuggle to keep a local force of nature at bay. To Marzi this destructive force manifests itself as the Outlaw, the superhuman nemesis of the Western heroine Rangergirl. To others this (earthquake god? Avatar of entropy? Local animistic force?) appears as a traditional god or sometimes an Earth Goddess. It is struggling to get out and unleash destruction (the last time he escaped he caused the 1989 Loma Prieta quake), while Marzi and her sidekicks Lindsay, her longtime best friend and Jonathan, a visiting artist and Marzi’s love interest try to stop it. The story eventually becomes a traditional good vs. evil heroic adventure, just in a unique setting.

This is Tim Pratt’s debut novel. He has written lots of short stories and also reviews for Locus magazine. His style of writing is smooth and easy to read. The book has a generally good pace and reads quickly. My main criticism would be that sometimes there isn’t enough narrative tension or sense of genuine peril. Sometimes Marzi and her friends solve things a little too easily. Still, the eccentric cast of characters is so very true to the Californian art scene, and even the bad guy’s henchmen are interesting characters in their own right. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this if you’re looking for something fun and different and not too taxing. ( )
  Archren | Feb 15, 2007 |
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For Heather,

who brought water to my desert.
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Marzi leaned on the counter and watched, with dread twisting in her belly like a knot of rattlesnakes, as Beej trudged up the stairs.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553383388, Paperback)

In this debut novel, acclaimed short-story author Tim Pratt delivers an exciting heroine with a hidden talent–and a secret duty. Witty and suspenseful, here is a contemporary love song to the West that was won and the myths that shape us….

As night manager of Santa Cruz’s quirkiest coffeehouse, Marzi McCarty makes a mean espresso, but her first love is making comics. Her claim to fame: The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, a cowpunk neo-western yarn. Striding through an urban frontier peopled by Marzi’s wild imagination, Rangergirl doles out her own brand of justice. But lately Marzi’s imagination seems to be altering her reality. She’s seeing the world through Rangergirl’s eyes–literally--complete with her deadly nemesis, the Outlaw.

It all started when Marzi opened a hidden door in the coffeehouse storage room. There, imprisoned among
the supplies, she saw the face of something unknown…and dangerous. And she unwittingly became its guard. But some primal darkness must’ve escaped, because Marzi hasn’t been the same since. And neither have her customers, who are acting downright apocalyptic.

Now it’s up to Marzi to stop this supervillainous superforce that’s swaggered its way into her world. For Marzi, it’s the
showdown of her life. For Rangergirl, it’s just another day....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:19 -0400)

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