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Waiting for Unicorns: 01/29/18

cover art

Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala is set in the arctic during the summer. Talia McQuinn is there with her father, a whale researcher. She's there because her mother is dead and there's really no where else to go. So she spends her time listening to their Inuit housekeeper tell stories about narwhales and learning how to grieve.

Or something like that.

You have to understand, I first read this book in the middle of the 2015-6 Cybils and it was a death heavy selection that year. Seriously, I could do a Venn diagram showing where each book sits based on the plot elements.

This one would go into: marine biology, remote northern location, dead mother, culture clash.

It's a perfectly fine execution of that kind of story. But it's competing against a large number of similar stories. It did also have the unfortunate effect of making me think of Futurama, both the Mushu episode and the longer one where Fry ends up being a narwhale trainer. It also got the narwhal song stuck in my head.

So rather than drag on this review: here's a Youtube sampling of what this book made me think of.

Whale biologist

Narwhal on Futurama

The Narwhal song

Three stars

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 11:23:16


I've passed this book several times in the bookstore and I always wondered if it was good. It sounds like one I should skip. Thanks for sharing the review!

Comment #2: Friday, February 02, 2018 at 09:25:00


If you're still curious about the book, you could borrow it from the library.

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