Wednesday, August 04, 2021

49. Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson

This is the second in the extremely readable Trickster trilogy.  I just keep enjoying these books more and more.  Among the many things I like about them, I particularily appreciate the way that they are structured.  It doesn't feel like it has to achieve some epic conclusion.  The structure feels much more like real life.  There are two broad stories going on here.  The first and the biggest in this book is just Jared Martin navigating his move to Vancouver, dealing with family and friends and enemies and school.  The second storyline is him being the Trickster's son and the risks and weirdness that comes with that.  It sounds fairly banal written like that, but Jared's life is so full of craziness that it is never boring.  I found the pace steady and engaging.  It never feels like you are being dragged into some "quest", rather you are just following along this young man as he tries to stay out of trouble and stay out of any kind of dependence on other people.

Given that he is a poor First Nations kid from Kitimat on a small scholarship to BCIT, he is actually relatively quite privileged.  His aunt is a successful author and activist. He has one grandmother who is super wealthy and another one who knows magic really well.  Despite this, Jared is super guarded and won't put his trust in anybody. People are also just really mean to him.  Felt very B.C from back in the day where everybody has to act super hard-bitten and people who are happy and confident are to be suppressed and distrusted.  It does become frustrating in the beginning.  The few people who are nice, Jared constantly pushes away and the rest who are total dicks, he just passively accepts.  The richness and realism of the people and the world of First Nations Vancouver that Robinson so well portrays pushes you past the frustration and when the supernatural part of the story explodes, it's just so insane that you are fully on board.

And the supernatural storyline, which hovers around and remains interesting but seems secondary for most of the book, really does explode at the end and really is bonkers with real ramifications for all the characters.  Robinson doesn't pull any punches.  It's an amazing mix of science fiction and indigenous mythology, which can be quite nasty.  I loved it and am using strong self-discipline to wait before jumping into the third.

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