Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

This book was a mind-expanding, chortle-making, thought-provoking, memory-stirring, joy-producing experience from beginning to end.


It's packed with wit, pyrotechnic sentences, infinite imagination, seasoned with potential genocide and diabolically devious competition and held together by compassion and empathy and a little hope. It's kept human and relevant by focuses on some broken-but-not-yet-destroyed musicians and all the magic that music works for us.


The title is ironic but you only know that after you've read the book - yeah, it's that kind of book - so confident of its own coolness it doesn't care if you only get it in retrospect because that's kinda cool too, you know? This isn't about space battles and complex hardware. Think Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett falling in love the Eurovision Song Contest and going "what if that was pan-galactic and the stakes were WAY higher?"


I can't believe that I've never read Catherynne Volente before. Where have I been all her life? I'm hooked now and I'll definitely be reading more. Her kind of talent is rare. He voice lifts me up to who I'd like to be, lets me forgive myself for not being him (yet) and tells me that I (and you) am not alone.


"Space Opera" was my first Buddy Read, a process that was great fun and prompted me to record my experience of the book as I read it. I've given my unedited Buddy Read posts here.