Gary Wolfe reviewed One for Sorrow in Locus this month. It was a feature review, and I loved reading what he made of the book. Okay, so I love reading and hearing what anyone thinks about the book, but this was yet another one of those detailed, thoughtful reviews that I enjoy so much, that offer me insights into my own writing, which is one of the things I think a good review can do for writers.
What finally holds the novel together isn’t the wealth of its supernatural invention, but its sharp, unsentimental characterization, its stark immediacy of setting, and — perhaps most of all — Barzak’s spare, lyrical prose which, as in his earlier short stories (including “Dead Boy Found”, which appeared in Kelly Link’s 1993 Trampoline and provided the germ of One for Sorrow) is compelling enough to convince you that Barzak is an auspicious new voice, deeply humane, deeply intelligent, and deeply observant. It’s one of the strongest first novels I’ve seen this year.