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Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Divine City + GIVEAWAY!

What Book Is That Giveaway Carnival!

Divine City: Bangkok FantasiesTitle: Divine City: Bangkok Fantasies
Author: Scott B. Robinson
Page Count: 302 KB
Publisher: self-published
Genre: short story collection
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

Supernatural forces and secret societies descend on modern Bangkok as a series of mysterious black boxes surface into the lives of five remarkable individuals in this magical realism collection of five short stories. As this cross-genre piece modulates through elements of the psychological mystery, horror, the thriller, the detective mystery, adventure and romance, it explores classic Western themes—the Fall, the Temptation, Pandora’s box—in an Eastern setting. The book is ultimately a study of the human obsession with the unknown.
I can safely say I've never read anything like Divine City: Bangkok Fantasies before.  Written in formal style and in short story format, it's a collection of five interconnected stories set in (you probably guessed) Bangkok.

Each story is unique and reflects different facets of Thai culture mixed with Western stories.  My personal favorite was "Band of the Hand," as the detective story aspects reminded me of John Burdett's Sonchai Jitpleecheep novels, also set in Thailand with strong magical realism elements.  

The stories are incredibly detailed and there's a lot to digest in each one, so close attention to detail is important.  This collection may not be for everyone, as the plot isn't afraid to meander and to take its time coming together in each story. The connections between the stories, likewise, aren't always immediately visible, and I had to go back and reread sections a couple of times before I was satisfied and ready to move on.

This isn't a book that I would have picked up on my own, I don't think, but I'm glad I got the chance to experience it.  I don't read enough short stories so it was nice to be back in the saddle.
Among his many talents, author Scott Robinson is also a jeweler in real life!  As a result he's offered up a truly unique giveaway prize- a sweet pair of earrings!  Check out the design:

This is for a pair of earrings, obviously, even though there's only one in the picture.  To enter, fill out the form below!  Don't forget to comment on the Why Read Indie Books? post from July 1st saying you entered the Divine City giveaway for an added shot at the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!  Make sure you enter on the correct post so your entry counts.
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