Of Bees and Mist, Erick Setiawan
(it actually has 500 pages exactly, shh!)
Two weekends ago, I visited Megan in Manchester, and she lent me this. She had told me about it, how much she was enjoying it, how she was going to give it to me to read next because I would like it. She was right.
It’s a clever, not-quite-fairytale story, about women. There are men: husbands, fathers, acquaintances. But it’s about the women. There is magic, but it’s not a story about magic. It’s about relationships, of all sorts, over thirty years. It is melodramatic, and fast-paced, and imaginative, and I was completely hooked.
Of Bees and Mist has a lot of potential, but doesn’t always live up to it. The story is complex, and feels squashed in places, like it ought to have been a longer book, or a series of shorter ones. It hints at events and details which, I hope, suggest a sequel, which I would be very much interested in, as its world is cleverly built, the characters interesting, the ending left just open enough that it would be possible, but not frustrating left as it is.
Overall, it was an enchanting and very enjoyable book, a very promising first novel, and I look forward to hearing more from Setiawan in the future.
Other categories Of Bees and Mist fits into: a book with non-human characters, a mystery or thriller, a book set in a different country, a book a friend recommended, a book with a love triangle, a book with magic, a book by an author you’ve never read before