What I’m Reading (and You Should Be):

Not all love stories are romances, or even contain a significant romantic arc. With some books, when you finally arrive at the end, you realize that what you’ve read revolved around love – the many forms it can take, and the worlds we build with it.

Take, for instance, Christ Durston’s debut novel, Each Little Universe. I tried to categorize this novel somehow. Is it science fiction? Is it fantasy? Magical realism? I eventually gave up trying to pigeonhole the story; it can certainly stand on its own without a label.

And what a story it is! When a stranger named Ziggy suddenly joins the household of young flatmates (and best friends) TM and Veggie, neither is prepared for the somersaults their lives are about to take. Whether she’s helping invent the Next Big Thing, learning to RPG, or endearing herself to their circle of friends, Ziggy becomes a principal part of TM and Veggie’s little universe. But who is Ziggy, really? Is she all she seems to be? True, she has Star Power, but is it enough to counter inquisitive local weathermen or charismatic survivalist TV stars? Will TM and Veggie find enough power of their own to protect Ziggy not only in their own universe, but in others as well?

Did the paragraph above even make sense? Don’t worry – the story holds together on its own terms, and I don’t want to reveal too much of it here. Stylistically, Chris Durston keeps the tone light and funny, as if somewhere in the hereafter, Roald Dahl and Sir Terry Pratchett met up for drinks and decided to collaborate on a novel. But even a comic novel can carry some heavy thoughts, and I found myself touched by TM and Veggie’s devotion to Ziggy, and how far they would go to protect their friend. As I suggested before, there’s no significant romantic arc in this story, but there doesn’t need to be. Love can power its way through tiny little universes, or even rocket through great big ones. Our heroic flatmates figured that out, and you’ll want be along for TM and Veggie’s wild, wild ride! Go on, click on the link and get this book. You’ll be glad you did!

Note: Believe it or not, I hadn’t read the blurb at the Amazon link before composing the paragraphs above. The blurb’s better!

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