A periodic treat at The Morning News is when John Warner assumed the mantle of Biblioracle, and invites readers to list the last five books they enjoyed. Based on those, he suggests the next book to read. After the summer round, he suggested his friend and fellow TMN writer Kevin Guilfoile’s second novel, The Thousand. I’d seen a negative review from Publishers Weekly, and didn’t consider it after that. But the Biblioracle struck again, because I enjoyed it tremendously.
The story switches between several characters, but the central one is Canada Gold, a petite woman with a famous dead father and a talent for counting cards in Vegas that’s gotten her into more than a little trouble. Canada is the kind of smart, scrappy, supernatural heroine its easy to cheer for, not unlike Lisbeth Salander though slightly less crazy. As a child, she got a neurostimulator implanted to control her seizures. The “spider” as she calls it, did what it was supposed to but brought a host of weird side effects. These come into play when she becomes the center of various plots of a shadowy group called The Thousand, fanatic and secret followers of the ancient mathematician Pythagoras.
This is a speculative thriller in the style of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. It has a number of similarities to a previous Biblioracle rec, Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, which I loved earlier this year. This was a fast, entertaining read in the midst of a bunch of heavy books. I enjoyed it a lot and look forward to checking out Guilfoile’s first novel, Cast of Shadows, as well as the latest recommendation for me from the Biblioracle: The Family Fang.