Adam Novy’s début novel The Avian Gospels arrived at Biblioklept World Headquarters this Saturday. I was at a football game all day (drinking beer and then watching my alma mater’s team vanquish men in orange), so I didn’t get to dip into these gorgeous, strange books until the next day, at which point my four-year old daughter took possession of the second volume (declaring it beautiful) and pretended to read it on the couch with me.
I’ve read the first 80 or so pages since then; so far, The Avian Gospels is about a boy named Morgan and his father, both of whom have the power to control birds. This is a handy skill, as the strange, burnt world of Novy’s novel is afflicted by swarms and swarms of birds, creatures that the Gypsies claim to be the souls of all the dead who have died in the city’s endless warring with Hungary. Ruthless Judge Giggs, the tyrannical ruler of the city, wants to enlist the talents of Morgan and his father. The book is surreal, dystopian and perhaps post-apocalyptic, but also very funny and at times even heartwarming in its tender treatment of parent-child relationships. Full review forthcoming.