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01/04/2004 Entry: "More TINKER -- Lynn's Review"

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TINKER really pushes my buttons in a good way for the romance and the self image of the main character. Tinker, the title character, is a very high-end genius, living her life in a near-future Pittsburgh that spends all but one day a month in "Elfland." [...] She rescues a high-up elf (for the second time) using technology, ends up involved with him, and gets turned into an elf herself. There's a bunch of interesting intersection of biology and magic in this, and that intersection of technology and magic is what makes it so appealing to me, I think.

I could worry about some of the implications of the romance, both in terms of consent and whether Windwolf (the hero/love-interest) is sufficiently older/more powerful to make it squicky. It ended up working for me because of Tinker's overall maturity and because I think Spencer carried off making it seem like her intellect does make the playing field more level.

There is a nice mixture of additional ethnic myths, although saying more than that ends up in spoiler territory. Suffice it to say that there are "bad guys" who want to do "bad things," but they end up with sufficient nuances that they aren't generic villains cackling in the corners.

I like the Ukiah Oregon series from this author, which is pretty much straight SF with some neat concepts (also biology based - hmm), but this is much more satisfactory as an actual romance as well as fantasy/sf. It is always interesting to see what an author does with a fairly standard trope like elves. [...] Recommended, and I'm looking forward to the sequel she is working on.--Lynn

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