I also learned that her first book, Falcon (which I have never read), is science fiction. Rats. It will have to go on the next reading list.
When I started reading this book, I thought to myself, “Perhaps this isn’t as good as I remembered, it seems a little uneven,” but no: it is an astounding book that makes me a little afraid to write. This is the story of genetically engineered chevals built for psychic (and psychotic) C.I.A. Horsemen. Each chapter finishes with a breath-taking cliff hanger, images and character pirouette around you and you hear the thump of their feet, the intake of their breath, and the smell of their sweat. You live the story, and the story is grand. Wow.
Emma Bull has mastered the cliff-hanger chapter ending in a way I don’t think I will ever be able to match, and her poetic descriptions and convoluted, smart-mouth characters are juicy and enviable. But one of the lessons I think she really brings to writers is that she writes about what she loves: music, technology, food, friends. She injects her enthusiasm in and the reader can hear it and taste it. And dialogue makes character – Frances is droll and frightening and sympathetic. If there were Academy awards for novel characters, Frances would get a Best Supporting Actress.