Review: Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

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For such a hefty book I have surprisingly little to say about it! I’ve been a huge fan of Gregory’s work since I read Raising Stoney Mayhall several years ago, and he has yet to disappoint. I particularly enjoy how he mixes genres. This book reads like a modern lit family drama…except with psychics. The plot is a series of seemingly disconnected threads that all come together in the end to form one masterfully woven scene. The real core of the book, however, centers on the five central characters, which works well since Gregory is a master of creating rich and complex characters. These are people with flaws and layers, and as I got to know them I didn’t always like them but I did sympathize with them. I particularly enjoyed the “rules” Gregory set up for how the psychic powers worked in his world.

All in all Spoonbenders was more literary and less creepy than his other books, which will probably have broader appeal (but a little less for me since I love the creepy factor). This book has plenty of familial drama to keep it grounded despite being filled with grifters, mobsters, and psychics. If you’ve avoided Gregory in the past because demons, zombies, and other horror tropes are not to your taste this is the perfect entry point to get a taste of his excellent writing.


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