Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Borderline, by Mishell Baker

Continuing my reading of Nebula award nominees for this year, I read Borderline by Mishell Baker.  The basic theme of the book is that an agency exists (the Arcadia Project) that serves as a contact point between the world of Fairy and our world.  Now, this theme has been done more times than I can count--Charles Stross' Laundry series, Jasper Fforde, Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, and more YA series than you can shake a stick at--but it's a trope that keeps on giving. And this book has a lot to offer as an entry in the category.

The Arcadia Project uses the mentally damaged as its agents.  Our protagonist, Millie, suffers from Borderline personality disorder that has driven her to attempt suicide.  The attempt cost her parts of both legs.  We get detailed expositions of life inside a BPD person's head, and dealing with prosthetics ("every amputation's unique, you learn to do what works).

She and a crew of multiple personality, paranoid, psychopathic and dissociative agents investigate the disappearance of Fey visiting our world.  The worlds have much to lend each other--Fey value our social structure and organization, we value their creativity.  Highly creative people tend to have Echoes in Arcadia--Fey who are attuned to their person and can lend them creative vision.  The details are lots of fun.

The mystery and personality disorder elements are well woven together.  Millie is the only truly detailed character, but we get a strong supporting cast.  Her 19 year old boss Caryl is also well done.

This one is going to be hard to beat as a book to simply enjoy.  I can highly recommend it for a good, juicy read.  I had a hard time putting it down, and I have much experience with putting down good books.  I give it four stars.  Go get it now.

No comments:

Post a Comment