Today's book review is Child of a Rainless Year by Jane Lindskold.
This is an odd book, and reviewing it is made even harder because I have been distracted enough that I read most of it in one chapter before going to sleep chunks, so it took a long time.
At the beginning, the book seems mainstream. There's no fantasy at all; then some element of mystery builds up; then some small fantastic elements creep in; and then it starts getting really weird toward the end. Things happened really slowly for most of the book, and then really fast at the end, leaving me a little bit dazed. I was a bit troubled at the end that some time travel came into it, but the actual plot of the story does not depend on (or even have) the characters changing their own past, and I probably would come away unbothered except that in a couple of places characters clearly suggest that they think they *could* change the past if they wanted to.
There's probably supposed to be some big philosophical message in this book, and people who enjoy finding symbolism in books and meaning in the symbolism would have plenty to chew on, but the meaning somehow escaped me. The book kept me interested, though; it creates a convincingly different world within present day America that was fun to visit. I don't deeply identify with the characters, but I enjoyed following their lives and found the ending satisfying.
A good book, definitely different, but a little disconcerting in the way the pacing and feel shift toward the end. Worth reading, but not a must-read. I guess that makes it a 7 out of 10.