Book Review: The Changeling by Victor LaValle

Spiegel & Grau
Published June 13, 2017
448 Pages

Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood. An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange. Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post-partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act—beyond any parent’s comprehension—and vanishes, seemingly into thin air.

Thus begins Apollo’s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma’s whereabouts. Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever. This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the people we love. – Goodreads

This book was really different for me. I normally, for one, do not read adult fantasy. For whatever reason they do no appeal to me as much as YA fantasy does. But I am trying to change that and my first book for that goal is The Changeling. I was not disappointed.

Let’s start with the pros. The story is about a black family in modern New York City. For me it not only making it relate-able by because of location but because racially and culturally I can identify with the characters. (Diversity for the win!). But also beyond that, I really really loved the fact the author decided to write this from parents point of view and not a brother or a sister. This added a completely different emotion and truth to the book even if you are not a parent.

Also the way the author was able to wrap Apollo’s world as well as New York City with the mythology was smooth and seamless. There was an art and care as well as a appreciation for a world that was already existed. That is not something your find all the time in books.

Despite these points, I did have an issue with the book. It was long. It was so long and drawn out that I had to put the book down breathe and then dive back in. I appreciate the author building up to the point but the build up was like climbing a tall snowy mountain the first time. It was a bit rough.

In regards to characters, everyone played their role and fit together well. I wanted Apollo to be more supportive of his wife in the beginning because of his out-worldly experience. But at the time, I was a bit disappointed in him because although he was a book collector/seller business man it felt like he didn’t actually read. Its slightly hard to explain but reader to reader you can tell.

Overall, I enjoyed this read would have liked it to have not been as stretched but I enjoyed it.

 

3 Pickles. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: