Sunday, May 03, 2009


I just finished Jana Oliver's Sojourn - and boy, was that a fun read! I very much recommend this book (and in fact, after writing this more detailed review, I'm off to add a shorter one to my website). Jacynda, a Time Rover, travels back to Victorian London in search of a missing tourist - even as Jack the Ripper roams the streets. She encounters two men with very different motives and one thing in common: they are Transitives, or shapeshifters.

Now, first off, I just have to admire the skill it takes to combine these two elements. Here are two very different types of outsiders - visitors from the future versus a secret society of shapechangers - which seem, in tone / feel, to be incompatible. But they blend together, and they work, and maybe it's partly the setting, but ... well done. Second off, here is a great example of how to do multiple points of view well. Watching the characters mutually keep their own secrets and gnaw at the others' is great fun. Way more fun than not knowing.

Book is not without areas where I quibbled - I thought a bit too much time was spent on Cynda's timelag. I also thought there were a few too many loose ends left undone. I did, however, appreciate that one of those loose ends was the romantic subplot. I've got to admit, this is partly because the character who was fairly apparently intended to "win" in the triangle was my lesser favorite of the two. Don't get me wrong, Alastair is a great character; but he annoyed me at times, whereas I pretty consistently just wanted to hug Jonathon to death.

None of this really marred my enjoyment of Sojourn. The emotional pitch was excellent - there were bitter moments were I just kind of lowered the book and went, "Awwwh." No, I actually verbalized an "awwwh," which I honestly can't remember doing before. I also liked how there were so many small events going on in the book, and yet it was unquestionably a cohesive whole.

Anyhow, I definitely will be looking to get my hands on Virtual Evil. I don't suppose Dragon Moon will have released it as a paperback? I really hate having to lug around trades ... even though this is one of the prettiest examples of such I've seen in a while. Yes, folks, even the cover is pretty darn awesome.

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