Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
So much of this book is said in subtext, in the language that the characters speak secretly of themselves and others, that I see a lot of readers having completely missed the point or not even willing to formulate an opinion to take a stab at answering the questions they say the story raised for them and never answered. The heart of the book is Lori, a highly sympathetic and believable female character (Barker's good at that), and the shift from Boone's narrative to hers at first felt jarring, mostly because I felt that it was going to shift back. It never did, and that's what made it perfect. It's the change in Lori and her better understanding of herself and her feelings for Boone that drives the whole thing for me, and makes it truly romantic, above and beyond anything I've read that's been labeled a romance. The prose is gorgeous, tight, impressive, as always, in how straight forward and crude Barker can be while still managing to come close to the poetical (but never florid.)