Header image with four cats and the text: Pussreboots, a book review nearly every day. Online since 1997
Now 2024 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA+ Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

As Far as You'll Take Me by Phil Stamper
Belly Up by Eva Darrows
The Big Nap by Ayelet Waldman
Birds by the Shore by Jennifer Ackerman
A Deadly Chapter by Essie Lang
A Game of Cones by Abby Collette and Joell Jacob (narrator)
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
The In-Between by Rebecca Ansari
Just Because by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)
The Last Treasure by Janet S. Anderson
Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico
Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi
Negative Image by Vicki Delany
Nothing O'Clock by Neil Gaiman
Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith
Oddity by Eli Brown and Karin Rytter (illustrator)
The Old Boat by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey
Paladin's Strength by T. Kingfisher
Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron
The Raconteur's Commonplace Book by Kate Milford

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
Restaurant to Another World Volume 3 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami (Illustrations)
Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee
Stray Bullets by Robert Rotenberg
These Unlucky Stars by Gillian McDunn
Tin by Candace Robinson and Amber R. Duell
Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Wicked Weaves by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

February 2021 Sources

February 2021 Summary

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2024-2025

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

Oddity: 03/20/20


Oddity by Eli Brown and Karin Rytter (illustrator) is a middle grade alternate history fantasy set in lands inspired by the Louisiana Purchase but supposes a time when the United States didn't expand beyond the initial states and in fact lost two. The fantasy elements involve oddities that in their number and variety bring to mind Warehouse 13 (which given the timeline would be Warehouse 12) combined with the wild west as imagined by Briscoe County Jr..

Clover's mother collected oddities but that hobby contributed to her death. Clover wants to honor her mother by collecting them too. She found an icy cold Ice Hook while helping her physician father. That decision results in him dead and her on the run as an orphan.

Creating an alternate timeline along with populating it with apparently magical items is an ambitious undertaking. To sell it, the characters need to feel natural — like they belong in their world. Clover understandably spends much of her time after her father's death thinking about him. That leaves her traveling companions, a snake oil saleswoman and a talking rooster who unfortunately brings to mind Chicken Run, to fill in the world of the oddities. They don't beyond one quick tale of a wine goblet making a marsh after spilling and getting lost in the process.

While Brown keeps the white societies in his novel (France and the United States), he tries to skirt the problem of Native American representation by creating two fictional peoples. The Black characters in his book don't fare better either. For instance, on arriving in a city she comments on how "tidy" a poor Black girl and goes on to compare her hair to licorice.

Two stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2024 Sarah Sammis