by Scott Westerfield.
Okay, I have a secret. I wasn't all that thrilled by Uglies. It was okay...but it wasn't my thing. Oh, no! Not a secret anymore!!!
But read Fine Prey today, and was happily engrossed. Now, most people are going to feel exactly the other way -- that Uglies is better than Fine Prey.
It's a disorienting book, and ultimately, it doesn't make sense. At the end, your brain is struggling. "Why?" "How did we get to this place?" "Why are there so many interesting scenes skipped during the interstices between the sections?" "I get that X was supposed to be significant, but I'm not smart enough to figure out whyyyyyyy!!!! Waaaaah!"
But that's okay with me. I left the book with my brain dancing. "And this idea hooks to that idea...right here...and then..." Stuff doesn't have to make sense in order for you to understand it, after all. The subconscious gets it and starts jamming along.
I can even pull some of the ideas back out to Uglies. A lot of Uglies fits that...not everything, but a lot. It's like someone said, "Great, Scott, now slow down for the rest of us, and I prooooomise you'll make enough to live off of this time. Really." But Uglies is a much better story, which makes it too solid, and I don't walk away from it with a big "aha!"
I categorize Fine Prey with Little, Big and Physiognomy. Not everybody's thing, I realize, but a book doesn't have to be, in order to be good.