Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Second books are always interesting. Sometimes, an author had lots (and lots and loooots) of time to work on their debut. The author polished. Revised. Had their critique group look at it once, twice--you get the idea. First books are honed. Second books... not so much.

So I loved Graham McNamee's Acceleration, which won an Edgar (read it if you haven't; it's good.) And I checked to see if he had other books out, which he didn't at the time, because that was his debut.

Anyway, I was very excited to get my hands on Bonechiller, his second book. But then I read a few pages, and it just didn't grab me like his debut. Dammit, I thought. There's another one of those sorry seconds.

But I kept reading. This was Graham McNamee, after all. Give it a chance. Plus the novel is set in a chilly, remote part of Canada, which reminded me of North Dakota (where I lived for two years.) So I read. And then I was hooked. Slowly...

Much like the monster that chases Danny one freezing night. First, he wonders if he made the whole thing up, but then he finds that more teens in the Harvest Cove area have been disappearing on cold winter nights. And when his friend Howie gets taken too, Danny, Howie, Pike, and Ash (who Danny has a thing for) decide to chase the monster instead of being chased.

Bonechiller is a bit of a slow start. But then you start to feel for Danny, whose mother died of cancer, and his friends, who completely come to life. The book has some folklore in it, a great setting, and lots of undercurrents--if you give it a chance.

And you should. This one's worth it.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I hear a lot of people who say if a book hasn't grabbed them by the first few pages, they don't have 'time to waste' by pushing through. However, I've taken the tack in the past couple years to try to push through that. And you know what? I've read some really great books. Richard Laymon's *Island* took forever to get through and he didn't win me over until the very last line. The very last line. And he turned it all around for you know how hard that is to do? What good writing that is? Admittedly, there have been some stinkers, but the ones that paid off are some of my favorites now.