Deep Secret

Deep Secret - Diana Wynne Jones

DWJ Book Toast, #10

Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite fantasy authors, growing up and now, and I was saddened by the news of her death. I can't say I'm overcome with emotion - as personal as some of her work is to me, its not like I knew her after all - but I wish I could put into words how I feel about her no longer being out there, writing new adventures and laughing at all of us serious fans thinking so hard about her words when we should simply get on with the business of enjoying them.

And that's...what I'm going to do. She's left behind a huge body of work, a large amount of which I haven't read yet, so I'm going to reread all my old favorites (and hopefully some new).

Another first reading, this one came out just before my absolute favorite, 'Dark Lord of Derkholm', and has Jones fresh off of her skewering of the genre in her 'Tough Guide'. Coming right between two of her most funny and pitch-perfect works, this should have been a breeze to love, and I was right there at the alter too, until the bitter, bitter end.

Because I was enjoying this immensely, sending up con-culture and mixing in a bit of magic much like Chrestomanci's (but with a more modern feel), and characters that, if not exactly lovable, are interesting enough to spend time with.

But her ending, it dragged on and on and on. A complete buzzkill, because a long and important scene had to be retold, because, even though chronologically it was much earlier in the book, it didn't fit into her narrative conceit. So it just sat there on the end.

It was so awkward, and the technology involved in the magic, even for 96-97, was pretty out of touch, which was just another distraction.

I enjoyed the book very much, but do yourself a favor should you read this: skip the last section. Nothing there needed to be said.




Next: 'The Merlin Conspiracy'