Finch

Finch

4.1 6
by Jeff VanderMeer, Oliver Wyman
     
 

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In Finch, mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps have reconquered the failed fantasy state Ambergris and put it under martial law. They have disbanded House Hoegbotton and are controlling the human inhabitants with strange addictive drugs, internment in camps, and random acts of terror. The rebel resistance is scattered, and the gray caps

Overview


In Finch, mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps have reconquered the failed fantasy state Ambergris and put it under martial law. They have disbanded House Hoegbotton and are controlling the human inhabitants with strange addictive drugs, internment in camps, and random acts of terror. The rebel resistance is scattered, and the gray caps are using human labor to build two strange towers. Against this backdrop, John Finch, who lives alone with a cat and a lizard, must solve an impossible double murder for his gray cap masters while trying to make contact with the rebels. Nothing is as it seems as Finch and his disintegrating partner Wyte negotiate their way through a landscape of spies, rebels, and deception. Trapped by his job and the city, Finch is about to come face to face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
VanderMeer's third book set in the fungus-laden city of Ambergris is an engrossing recasting of the hard-boiled detective novel. Traditional tropes—femmes fatales, double-crossing agents, underworld crime lords—mix seamlessly with a world in which humans struggle to undermine the authority of sentient fungi a century after the events of 2006's Shriek: An Afterword. By the time titular detective Finch solves the double murder of a human and a fungus, he's been drawn into a conflict in which he's rarely sure who's manipulating him or why he's so important to their plans. VanderMeer's stark tone is brutally powerful at times, and his deft mix of genre-blurring style with a layered plot make this a joy to read. Though the book stands well on its own, fans of the earlier Ambergris novels will appreciate it even more. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
The latest in World Fantasy Award-winner Vandermeer's Ambergris cycle (Shriek: An Afterword, 2008, etc.) pits a dogged detective against . . . just about everyone. An upstart species known as the gray caps has emerged as the power in the once-renowned city of Ambergris, now a crumbling place of decay and despair. Blame the vengeful gray caps for that. As the Ambergrisian underclass, they eked out a subterranean existence, manifestly in thrall to human superiority. But six years ago, the Rising placed Ambergris totally in the gray caps' tyrannical hands. Now Finch, a detective, finds himself reporting to a being who speaks to underlings in often impenetrable clicks and whistles, though no one in their bare-bones police station would risk disobeying these commands. The bizarre double murder of a gray cap and a human shakes up the status quo. Finch's boss seems intensely interested in the crime. Does it have something to do with the mysterious Lady in Blue, elusive leader of a growing counterinsurgency? Soon other intensely interested parties appear with a multiplicity of arcane agendas, to all of which Finch somehow seems key and in all of which his best interests are clearly not paramount. Only for the faithful; anyone else will find the plot opaque and largely incomprehensible.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469281278
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
04/02/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Scott VanderMeer is an American writer, editor and publisher. He is best known for his contributions to the New Weird and his stories about the city of Ambergris, in books like City of Saints and Madmen.

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Finch 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Jvstin More than 1 year ago
NB: I received an ARC of this book via the Amazon Vine Program Jeff Vandermeer is the Hierophant of the the "New Weird", an avant-garde branch of modern fantasy that uses phantasmagorical imagery and horror in an often urban secondary fantasy world. China Mieville's Perdido Street Station may be the most commercially successful of this branch of fantasy, but Vandermeer has done more than any author (and editor) in forming the New Weird style of fantasy. He started it in earnest with (deliberately confusing) two versions of City of Saints and Madmen, a collection of stories (and in the second iteration, stories and other miscellany) set in his secondary world of Ambergris. Next came Shriek, an Afterword, another book set in Ambergris, a more proper novel although with bizarre stylistic conventions. And now there is Finch. Ambergris has changed from the time of Saints and Shriek. The Gray caps have risen, taking advantage of the civil war between two Houses to take the city for themselves, changing it in their fungal ways, and building some sort of secret project. Rebels scheme in and on the outskirts the ruined city. Ordinary people try to just survive an increasingly bizarre landscape. And just *what* are the Gray Caps going to do now?? Enter into this Finch. That's not his real name, and in a sense not his real identity, but that's the one he uses as a detective in employ of the Gray Caps and the Partials (the fungally transformed humans) who serve them. He claims he is not a detective, but it is what he does in this new order. What starts out as an investigation of a murder turns into a conspiracy and a tangled web of secrets and revelations that unwind not only Finch, but Ambergris itself. While this is a more proper novel than many of his previous efforts (even more so than Shriek), the sensibilities and ideas explored in previous works are in full force here. Ambergris has fallen from its previous heights, a fuzzy, spore laden shell of its former self. The already weird Ambergris of previous novels is radically transformed in this novel. And as much as Finch, his fellow detectives, contacts, and lover, the city is a character. Noir, horror, New Weird, phantasmagorical fantasy. Ambergris is one of the most vividly realized cities in modern fantasy. Its a place you wouldn't want to live, but its definitely a place that you will want to visit. While reading the previous volumes aren't strictly necessary, I think that a reader would be very much lost at sea if they haven't done so. But for those readers ready for a dose of the New Weird, laced with noir, and a detective mystery, Ambergris awaits you.It'll get under your skin, and transform you. In a good way. Promise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NSALegal More than 1 year ago
A creative, strange, unusual mix of genres (sci-fi, horror, war, detective noir, near-apocalyptic). The characters were well fleshed out and complex, making reasonable choices in unreasonable circumstances. I am not a fan of the hard-boiled detective genre, or the obligatory testosterone-fueled beat-downs that seem to come with it, but the violence has a reasonable role in this difficult-to-predict plot. The clipped writing style, even though apparently meticulously constructed, takes some getting used to, and is at times distracting. Throughout is a good mix of the immediate concerns of Finch, the force of the spectrum of history (from the recent to the distant past) of this alternative-earth city, and the bigger picture of the vulnerable occupation of Ambergris by the gray caps. While this the third book dealing with Ambergris, a reader can start here without having read the others. Fascinating, involved and compelling.
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