Theatre of Curious Acts by Cate Gardner
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012
Darkly imaginative and utterly unique, Cate Gardner's Gaimanesque new book
THEATRE OF CURIOUS ACTS had me the first second I fingered the moonlit
beauty of it's ghostly cover. From that point on, she had me in what I can only
describe as a death lock of sorts, holding my head under Theatre's murky,
troubled waters until I reached the final word.
We first meet Daniel Cole knee-deep in mud and death in a trench in WWI,
enduring what would seem to be the lowest of all possible moments that life
has to offer. But as bodies fall and pile up around him, the young solider is
unexpectedly jolted by visions of a grim, mind-bending otherworld that rivals
even the insanity and despair of war. What follows is a journey that is rich,
complex, and magical as anything ever dreamt up by Neil Gaiman or Lewis
Carroll, yet like no other journey made before. I especially enjoyed the Four
Horsewoman of the apocalypse, but Daniel is a wonderful protagonist.
Throughout the story, he is equal parts confused, conflicted, and heroic, as
all good men in trouble should be, and I quite liked him that way.
In all honesty, my crush on this book began months before its release when
I noticed that I could order a bookmark from Cate Gardner that featured its
intriguing cover art. In the weeks to follow, that bookmark saved my place
in every book I read and it never failed to please me when I would open the
pages of whatever I was reading and find the pearly images of art-manipulating
master Simone Held right there and waiting for me, beautifully holding my spot.
It made me so anxious to get my hands on the real deal.
This is a book for adventurous readers, make no mistake about that. To
appreciate Theatre of Curious Acts, you must be absolutely willing to be
carried along by its clammy tugs and pulls. You must also be a lover of
apocalyptic fantasy that has, at its foreboding heart, a good deal of romance
and soul. If you're that kind of lover, plunge in. Just forget about holding on.
You can find Cate Gardner's book Theatre of Curious Acts at a number of good
online bookstores, like:
also, take a moment to visit Cate at her website at categardner.net