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Nina Kiriki Hoffman
book cover

Book 1

Who recommends: JW, Shelley, Edith, Preeti, Linda, Rebekah, Catie, Margaret
Who discommends: Suzanne

I loved this book. It is a fantasy involving different types of magic (quite different) set mainly in contemporary urban settings in Oregon and San Francisco. One of the main themes in the book is surviving and then healing - literaly recovering the pieces of yourself and putting them back together. It does have a romance and the romance is important to the character development, but not a main element over all. I think she may write another book with these characters and I hope she will continue to explore the romance she started here. I found myself really caring about what happened to the characters and would definitly read another book about them to see what else happens.--Shelley (9 Oct 99)

I gather from something I read somewhere that there are some other short stories about one of the characters.--Lynn (10 Oct 99)

The jacket blurb in the book states:
From NKH comes RED HEART OF MEMORIES, featuring Matt Black -- her popular character fromt the World Fantasy Award nominated novella UNMASKING, and from the Nebula and World Fantasy Award-nominated "Home for Christmas".--Edith (11 Oct 99)

It was wonderful ... Immensely likeable characters and it felt like a setup for a series. At least I HOPE it's a series. I want to know more about these characters. She has such a soothing way of writing.

One of the things that struck me was the different types of magic the characters have access to. The heroine can talk to man-made things and they talk back and help her. The hero's magic involves communing with "the spirit" and being guided by it. The hero's sister's magic is so different it's hard to describe. At first none of it made sense, but I enjoyed how different they all were.

There was one thing which bothered me. There is an evil person in the book and I felt that he got off easier than he deserved. I won't say more lest I spoil it, but it really bugged me. His evilness wasn't explained adequately.--Edith (18 Oct 99)

I highly recommend it also though the romance isn't as strong as I'd hope but is there. Its more of a quest that the h/h go on to help themselves and others heal. Along the way we get a wonderful look at a world in which inanimate objects can speak, meet a ghost and see the growth of a friendship as it turns into more and some unusual magic. Though I still think I like THE THREAD THAT BINDS THE BONES more because I liked the romance more.--Linda (12 Feb 00)

I really liked and felt the solidity and roundess of each character, even the minor ones. Magic is intimate and unique to each individual. The plot isn't heavily structured with the usual expected patterns of plot. Hoffman manages to gracefully divert my analytic mind that wants explanations for everything, like why the main character can talk to inanimate objects. Hoffman leaves space for a sequel and I really hope she writes it!--Rebekah (24 Feb 00)

I just found this at my library, and started it a few days ago. I'm about 20 pages into it, and just can't get interested. Does it get better? Maybe I'm too old, but we're in the house with the ghost, and have been informed, not too subtly, that Edmund has issues, and I'm stuck. Let me know if it gets better, and if so I'll continue.-Suzanne (25 Feb 00)

[Another] comment brought to mind my feelings about A RED HEART OF MEMORIES, which i enjoyed in a kind of disquieted way, as I loved the author's style, and the characterisation but was not happy with the abundance of more and more magic that became available to solve every problem. I like my magic to have rules and limits...--Catie (28 Jun 00)

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