The Entropy of Bones

Ayize Jama-Everett. Small Beer (smallbeerpress.com), $16 trade paper (228p) ISBN 978-1-61873-103-6
This spellbinding novel shares a setting—the present day, layered with magic—with Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People and The Liminal War, but it stands well on its own. “Normal” is not part of protagonist Chabi’s world: she was raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Calif., and has been mute from birth, but she discovers she can push her mental voice into people’s minds. Faced with public school and its hazards, she asks a local martial arts master, Narayana, to teach her to fight. Narayana makes Chabi a weapon: a superhuman bar fighter and brawler. She’s able to shatter skeletons with her understanding of the powers of entropy. Chabi uses her deadly skills first to protect a likable trio of marijuana farmers, then as a security guard for an impossibly rich hotel magnate who’s as dangerous in his own way as Narayana. Rooted in Chabi’s voice, the story is spare, fierce, and rich, and readers will care just as much about the delicate, damaged relationship between Chabi and her mother as the threat of world destruction. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 09/15/2015
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-61873-104-3
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