Borderline, Mishell Baker
Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy
Well, Wow. Another debut book that’s been a terrific read.
I was intrigued for many reasons, Millie… as an AKA I identify with her and wondered if the author would have done proper research. I’ve read far too many reads where that’s not the case, and authors have amputees doing things that just aren’t physically possible. I’ve only 4 ins of bone left in my left leg, so fitting a socket isn’t easy, and the skin care, pain etc Millie suffers is very real. I guess Millie’s got a bit more as she’s able to do more with her leg than I can and I know from limb specialists that depends on the length of limb left. Also things like the knee not locking so falls happen, the effort expended in walking, and the same in pushing a wheelchair – it was all very very realistic.
I’ve little knowledge of mental issues, especially Millie’s BPD but given the accuracy of the prosthetics, and the problems Millie faced I’m happy that’s accurate too. Then there’s Fey in it, not Disney sweet pretty Fey, but ones found in Patricia Briggs novels, ones that mirror the Grimm’s brothers type. fey that are selfish, most who care little for anything or anyone but themselves, and live in a kind of parallel world to humans where the Higher Fey interact with and pose as humans.
We meet Millie in the home she’s been staying at, a kind of private place for recuperation where she’s learned a lot about how to cope with not just her physical restraints but her mental issues too. I liked the way Mishell explains everything, not in a “telling” way but by way of Millie recalling what she’s been taught when she needs it. Of course it doesn’t always work!
Then Caryl comes along, and offers her a job, but its fringed with mystery. Still, its that or burger flipping once her money runs out. I enjoyed too how as she’s on probation she doesn’t get told the Rules, and yet poor girl seems able to find them out easily by breaking them….oops. I love Millie’s cynical approach to life, she’s harsh and abrasive and times, not a comfortable person to be with but we can see how much what’s happened to her has changed her outlook, how the psychiatric help has taught her things she needed to know before she took a seven storey jump. She’s a tough cookie, but she’s the right person for the job that needs doing, and in a strange way fits in well with the others she’s working with, they’re an odd bunch and all with difficult backgrounds and issues.
Its a fascinating read, full of rich characters, imaginative plots, and Mishell isn’t afraid to kill off people, even though I felt really upset by that 😦 I hate those I like/respect dying, and yet that makes everything so much more real, so much more edge of seat action and suspense knowing that no-one is “protected” and anything could and will happen. I hadn’t guessed the plot, what was going to develop, it came as a complete surprise and I love that. For a debut book its an incredible one, original plots, great characters full of interest and full of rich language too – words I had to look up. I’ve a good command of English and US version of English ( there is not such thing as US English despite MS Windows always telling me that – it’s a US version of English!) but I still had to look up a few terms.
Its a novel that ends properly, wrapping up the mystery and yet leaves the way open for more from Millie and the Arcadia Project – I see in another review this is the start of a series – oh I do hope so, as its got such great potential for a fresh and original run of stories.
Stars: five, a fabulous read, and i really want more from Millie and Co.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
Edit: I’ve just seen on Goodreads that this is book one of a trilogy – hurrah!!