Book Review, Musings

**1st Guest Post!** Book Review: The Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

Spoonbender 1

Eric’s rating: 4 of 5 stars 4 Stars

Format: Audible

Publish Date: June 27, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction

Today I am proud to welcome my husband, Eric, to be my very first guest on my blog!img_3412

Eric is a new user of Audible. He listens to books in the car while traveling for work. I have a feeling that this new feature will have him listening to more audio books going forward.

Spoonbenders has been on my TBR list since it was published. It travels up and down my TBR but I’ve always wanted to read it. I told Eric about this book, and he was intrigued.

Spoonbender 3

This is a story about a con man falling in love with a genuinely powerful psychic, family, loyalty, and getting mixed up with the Chicago mob.

The Goodreads synopsis:

A generations-spanning family of psychics–both blessed and burdened by their abilities–must use their powers to save themselves from the CIA, the local mafia, and a skeptic hell-bent on discrediting them in this hilarious, tender, magical novel about the invisible forces that bind us.

The Telemachus family is known for performing inexplicable feats on talk shows and late-night television. Teddy, a master conman, heads up a clan who possess gifts he only fakes: there’s Maureen, who can astral project; Irene, the human lie detector; Frankie, gifted with telekinesis; and Buddy, the clairvoyant. But when, one night, the magic fails to materialize, the family withdraws to Chicago where they live in shame for years.

As they find themselves facing a troika of threats (CIA, mafia, unrelenting skeptic), Matty, grandson of the family patriarch, discovers a bit of the old Telemachus magic in himself. Now, they must put past obstacles behind them and unite like never before. But will it be enough to bring The Amazing Telemachus Family back to its amazing life?

Spoonbender 2

Every now and then our family sits around the dinner table and answers the question, “If you could have a special power, what would it be?” To which we get variations of flying, telekinesis, mind reading, teleportation, and the ability to tell the future. The conversation always focuses on how “awesome” it would be to have a special power.

After reading the Spoonbenders, I plan to extend the questions next time to include, “…and would be the potential downsides to your power?” Darryl Gregory captures the pros and cons through the humorous and well-written rise and fall of the Amazing Telemachus Family: Father, Teddy a con man; mother Maureen, the world’s greatest psychic; and their kids, Frankie (telekinesis…occasionally), Irene (a human lie detector), and Buddy (who can see the future). Gregory deftly weaves multiple plots and timelines to all meet in a climactic conclusion. Along the way we learn some painful lessons about the downside of the Telemachus’ “gifts”.

The book starts a little slow, but stick with it. Gregory teases us with obvious gaps in the family’s past that he fills at the right moment to deliver multiple “a ha!” moments and further draw us into the characters and story.

Gradually, Buddy became my favorite character. He can tell the future but the downside is that he lives three, simultaneous timelines (past, present, and future) and he’s never 100% certain where he is on that continuum. He uses clues to deduce the present. He so afraid of impacting the future that he tries to say as little as possible. Buddy is singularly focused on preparing for what he calls “zap day”, the day when he can no longer see into the future, where past, present and future all converge.

I highly recommend this book. Oh, and what power would I want? Teleportation! Definitely, I hate being late, I despise traffic, and TSA has made vacation travel a real nightmare. 🙂

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