Reading Journal Entry: Magic Street, by Orson Scott Card

I'm fairly grumpy this morning. So if I harsh on this book, it might not be fully warranted.
Magic Street is apparently Orson Scott Card's 'highly awaited' urban fantasy novel. I didn't know nothing about it, but apparently he's been working on it for 8 years or so. It's a rather grim fairy story set in a middle class black neighborhood of LA. A homeless man who has strange powers and a motorcycle riding 'hoochie mama' - who eventually are revealed to be Puck and Titania - create a strange child and continue to mess with the residents in various unpleasant magical ways. There's lots of typically bad fairy behavior. Card does creepy well, and he creates characters well; it's easy to get drawn in to his work.

I felt a failing in the overall magical framework; the conflicts are occurring between powerful magical beings, and I wanted some kind of taxonomy of faerie to figure out where God figured in to all this. The confinement of the magic to the cast of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream seemed claustrophobic rather than enlightening. Near the end of the book Titania reveals some ancient history of their origins in an offhand remark; if this had been developed more extensively it would have grounded the book better.

One particular subplot involving a preacher didn't really go anywhere. I felt that the final conflict seemed somewhat rushed; Card built up to a longer term battle than he delivered.

All the characters in the book are black, which is an interesting choice; Card goes into this choice a bit in an afterword.

Fun to read, but not the best book ever.

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