Plot/Idea: Between Pedestrio and the Old Ones, Abner and Vern's scramble across the wilderness, and a running field guide told in footnotes, this novel is a fascinating, though sometimes unfocused, look at stories and the art of storytelling. The world occasionally feels more like a loose collection of puns than a cohesive whole.
Prose: The choice to eschew traditional punctuation, such as comma placement, and occasionally grammar and spelling, distracts from rather than enhance the narrative. The novel might benefit from the poetic tone that might lend itself to some artistic license in those areas. While otherwise serviceable, the narration does spend much time explaining various wildlife and plant species that don't relate to the overall story
Originality: From the catawampus on to Nothing Flat, this novel is rife with unique ideas in its names, wildlife, and story beats.
Character Development/Execution: Serd nails the mythic tone when describing the Old Ones, and Vern and Abner have a charming friendship that certainly feels real and true.
Date Submitted: August 14, 2022