Saturday, April 10, 2010

Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones

It's hard for me to NOT love every novel by this extraordinary, imaginative and hilarious writer. Deep Secret did not disappoint me. I am honestly in awe of Wynne Jones's capacity to come up with completely original and interesting stories and I haven't yet come across a book of hers that seems like a rehashing of a previous tale she has written.

So! Deep Secret. In this book's universe, there are multiple worlds with varying degrees of understanding of magic, and various people called magids whose role it is to practice magic and maintain the balance of magical power throughout the worlds. They're also called upon from time to time to navigate tricky political situations and to find and train their own replacements. Such is the situation that our protagonist, the nerdy, introverted and somewhat grumpy Rupert Venables, finds himself in at the start of this book. One of the magids on Earth has passed away and the galactic empire is in tatters. Rupert tries hard to track down a potential new magid but events just seem to conspire against him. Eventually he hits on the idea of using magic to force all his candidates to attend a Sci-Fi convention so he can observe and interview them. This turns out to be a disastrous idea on many levels, and events unfold in a chaotic and truly unpredictable way. Things really just don't go Rupert's way at any point in this funny and intelligent novel.

I just looked up this book on wikipedia and discovered that Wynne Jones's more recent book The Merlin Conspiracy is considered a sequel of sorts to Deep Secret. I hadn't really noticed the similar universes (I am a pretty forgetful reader) so I think I might track Merlin down and give it a re-read.


deborah said...

had not heard of this author vicki - sounds kind of interesting altho i don't read a lot of sci-fi. i wondered when you were going to post something! i didn't realize you only post when you read something worthwhile - guess "babble" fits in my blogname as i write about everything i read & every movie i see, good or bad! altho i am still trying to come up with a better name as there seems to be a similarly named blog out there.

Vicki said...

Thanks Deborah! I would *like* to post about everything I read, but at some point I got really overwhelmed by that and so when I decided to start posting again I gave myself permission to only write when I read something noteworthy. :-) Hopefully at some point I will get back into posting about everything though because it's really fun to have a record of every book that's been through my hands over time.