Author: Ruth Frances Long
Price: $8.97 (ebook) / $8.55 (paperback)
Publisher: The O’Brien Press
Point of Sale: publisher’s website Amazon
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib
I recently attended Shamrokon, the 2014 European SF convention, held in Dublin Ireland. While I was there, Ruth Frances Long held a launch party for her novel A Crack in Everything. Unfortunately for her, most people attending were just interested in the cupcakes, but she did sell me a copy of her book. I’ve finished that book and greatly enjoyed it.
Isabel “Izzy” Gregory is a typical Irish teenager, living in Dundrum, a southern suburb of Dublin. She does have a minor problem with electronics – it’s not infrequent that she touches an electronic device and it explodes – but other than that she’s solidly normal. Or so she thinks. While out and about in downtown Dublin, Izzy comes across an angel, a fae, and discovers that there’s a whole other city – Dubh Linn –interweaved into the city that humans see. Izzy also discovers that some of the stories she was told as a child are real, and other concepts, such as angels being good, are not entirely accurate.
The story then becomes one of Izzy trying to figure out how to survive and use powers she didn’t know she had, while the fae Jinx, a werewolf-like being, has to figure out how to deal with Izzy and the various backroom deals and double-crosses of his world. I have to admit I had a problem keeping all the various non-humans straight, which I think was in part intentional.
Dublin, the real city, plays a key supporting role in the story, and at several points I found myself digging out my tourist map of the city to see where the events were happening. Having seen the city and then reading the book greatly improved my overall experience, but I think it would be enjoyable even if you never get to Dublin.
I highly recommend A Crack in Everything. O’Brien is an Irish publisher, so my best recommendation for US purchasers is to buy direct from the publisher. It appears to be the only way to get the ebook, while Amazon can get you the paperback.