Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

In Nalo Hopkinson's latest urban fantasy, Sister Mine, Makeda and Abby are twins with mixed heritage: demigod and human. They were born conjoined, but when they were separated, Abby got all the magic. At 24, Makeda decides it's time to put some distance between herself and her sister, so she finds her own place for the first time. She also finds that she just might have some serious mojo of her own.

I listened to the audiobook [Dreamscape: 11.5 hrs] narrated by Robin Miles, who also did Bulawayo's We Need New Names. I have a lot of respect for Miles' versatility, since these are such different stories, even though both are told in first person. Both books employ a lot of dialogue, mostly by Black characters of different backgrounds, expertly interpreted by Miles. She also conveyed Makeda's personality very well -- her jealousy, short temper and general impatience.

Sister Mine is packed with mythological references, shapeshifters and even a flying carpet... in Toronto, Ontario. There's a sexy guy who used to be a guitar... belonging to Jimi Hendrix. Makeda and Abby's mother has been turned into a sea monster. Their father's soul is possibly held in a kudzu vine named Quashee. Their extended family includes celestials like tricksy Uncle Jack... the grim reaper.

The sisters bicker too much for my liking, but they redeem themselves by being there for each other when it counts the most. There's lots of action and it's all great fun.

Readalike: Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman).

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