|Cartier Tour image © Michael Chevy Castranova 2016|
I picked up a copy at the Wexner Center in Columbus, between CXC events last October, and I admit I bought it entirely for its look.
The inside cover, in fact, is what sold me — a two-page spread of pinks, soft blues, grays and greens, an imaginary Sweden in summer.
And as I paged through the novel, I was taken with Modan’s spare but not sparing drawings of expressive people who don’t tell us, or each other, what they’re really thinking as they make their way around Warsaw. You have to track their faces and body language.
But the art is matched by a deeply embracing story: The protagonist, Mica, believes she is in Poland to help her grandmother reclaim property taken from their family during World War II. But her grandmother, prickly even in the best of circumstances, has other goals, which she never explains to Mica.
In the end, the novel is about living with decisions, with a glimmer of hope salted in. Take a look.
Meanwhile, in chapter 370 of “Slipped,” Tyler Wilson — aka the Scarlet Sparrow — is in the literal clutches of the returned Chancellor, who last time we saw him had grown to gigantic size and was nearly mad, due to an injection of growth serum. But now he’s in control of his faculties and even larger. And he’s threatening to eat Tyler, with extreme malice.
Cartier Tour, on the other hand, is having her own confrontation with Delacroix, the quasi-demon, whom she claims owes her … something.
And then there’s Pip, who has shown up and appears about ready to take a hand — or, paw — in the action.
You can see what’s what by following this link.
And by the way, this month marks eight full years since I launched “Slipped” — two states and two or so jobs ago for me. So thank you for reading, even if you’ve joined the adventures of the Scarlet Sparrow and her friends in progress.