Customer Reviews for

The Mystery of Grace

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

This fascinating urban fantasy entertains the audience

The Mystery of Grace
Charles De Lint
Tor, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 0765317567

After her beloved grandfather died, Altagracia Quintero falls into a deep depression. They lovingly had worked together restoring old Fords so they ran smoothly and he was h...
The Mystery of Grace
Charles De Lint
Tor, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 0765317567

After her beloved grandfather died, Altagracia Quintero falls into a deep depression. They lovingly had worked together restoring old Fords so they ran smoothly and he was her best friend. Grace goes to the local bodega to buy cigarettes only to become caught in a junkie robbing the grocer. He shoots her and the next she knows she is back in her apartment in the Alverson Arms. A woman she does not know is there informing her she is dead and in a small dimensional place because she died so close to her building; Grace thinks cigarettes do kill you.

Everyone can return to earth twice a year; on Halloween and On the Day of the Dead, but no one will recognize Grace if she goes back. She becomes friendly with a teenager Conchita who had a rough life. When she returns she meets John Burns at the Solona Music Hall. They fall in love, but she disappears while in his bathroom. His research into her life informs him he loves a ghost as she has been dead for a few weeks. He now knows when he will see her next so he waits for her appearance on Samheim night. Before she disappears Grace and Conchita sneak into the Alverson Arms where they enter the other dimension to learn more about their new home especially why they are trapped there. Grace gives the inhabitants a choice to pass on to the next place in exchange for what they know.

Where Grace ends up after dying is an artificial construct surrounded by a mist in which people walk through it and end up on the other side of town. Through perseverance, she investigates to learn what is going on, but finding out where she is does not mean she is less trapped; but it does encourage her to continue to seek freedom for her and Conchita. This fascinating urban fantasy entertains the audience who will wonder what exactly the afterlife is. Charles De Lint provides his delightful fantasy version.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Bait and switch

This should be in the religion section not the Sci-Fi Fantasy section.

This book starts off with a mysterious tattooed girl, sex, passion, and magic. It ends with religion, saints, faith and god. I feel like I was going on a date with a beautiful girl, but instea...
This should be in the religion section not the Sci-Fi Fantasy section.

This book starts off with a mysterious tattooed girl, sex, passion, and magic. It ends with religion, saints, faith and god. I feel like I was going on a date with a beautiful girl, but instead got taken to a bible study class. I'm only sorry I didn't quit reading the last 20 pages, when it was finally clear where the author was going.

posted by 1171682 on May 1, 2012

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Truely original modern fantasy

    I've always been impressed by Charles de Lint. His prose is excelent, and his ideas truely original. The Mystery of Grace is no exception to his high quality fantasy. It has one of the most unusual love stories I've ever encountered, and a truely great premise. The novel is a bit on the short side, but it doesn't leave you feeling like you've missed something. I was very impressed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Fantastic, but over too quickly!

    I loved it. As usual tge characters were real, believable, and easy to love.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Loved it!

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    de Lint Touches on Death

    This is arguably the first book by de Lint to place the protagonist solely in the ranks of the dead. Perhaps for that reason the heroine 'Grace' is not as proactive as the principle characters of many of his other works. I was also struck by how similar many of the themes were to those invoked by Patricia Briggs in her 'Bone' series, although arguably de Lint has stayed true to his metropolitan-fantasy genre.

    That said, the book is a good read even if the predominant figures are somewhat weaker than you might expect from this accomplished author. Perhaps it is a testament to how familiar other writers have become with this style, but far too often the 'read that earlier' phrase popped up in this reader's mind while perusing this work. That isn't a condemnation of de Lint; far from it. He practically invented the metro-mystic genre.

    It could also be argued that the primary villain of the piece was introduced late in the work and made almost incidental to the story-line. Indeed, at the end the villain is largely redeemed by the heroine! While this is a commendable life-lesson, it weakens the dramatic tension of the piece and leaves the story-line feeling somewhat flat.

    This is not the first work in which de Lint has touched on Southwestern themes (it comes in somewhere around four or five by my estimation), but it feels more like a short-story on steroids than it does a book-length treatment of a complex topic.

    In short it would not be my recommendation to readers unfamiliar with de Lint's works, but if you are already hooked and itching for a fix this will suit you just fine.

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    Posted March 21, 2011

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    Posted April 30, 2009

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    Posted March 28, 2012

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    Posted May 27, 2012

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    Posted December 13, 2010

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