Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez

Diana, an ordinary girl with a ho-hum job selling coats in a department store, is tired of sleeping on friends' couches. She needs her own place. So when she finds an apartment that's inexpensive and fully furnished (with furniture exactly to her taste, including a vintage jukebox loaded with her favorite songs), she figures that if it didn't come with a slightly creepy landlord with bizarre rules it would be too good to be true. 

Well, Diana isn't wrong. There's a floppy-eared puppy guarding the door to apartment two, but don't get too close. West, the creepy landlord, never says what will happen if Diana breaks that rule, but Number Two (all tenants are known to West by their apartment numbers) lost control of the dog a year ago and now he's lucky if it will let him out to buy groceries. (Rule 3: Don't pet the dog.) There's a monster in the closet--or, more accurately, a cosmic horror, an ancient entity--called Vom the Hungering. Guess what he'll do if she opens the closet door? (Rule 2: Don't open the closet door.) Food appears in the fridge when she thinks about it and her merest wish suddenly seems to have the power to shape reality.

Which actually might be a good thing, since another ancient entity, known in this reality as Calvin, is about to bring the universe as we know it to an end. It's not his fault, exactly, and Calvin actually seems to be a pretty nice guy. But still.


As Diana gets a grasp on what's happening to her, coming to terms with her new and seemingly limitless powers (on day one she accidentally burns down the department store where she works when she thinks how nice it would be to have a reason not to have to go to work and on day two she reverses that action) and to the growing parade of cosmic powers in her posse (first, of course, is Vom, whom she convinces not to eat her), she realizes that reality is not as rigid as she once believed.

Which is another good thing, because Diana's going to have to give it all she's got to bend reality back once Calvin does his thing.


Chasing the Moon is funny on every page. Characters are zany yet have surprising depth, particularly Diana's wise-cracking sidekicks. Possibly best of all is the character of West, who's really only creepy because his day-to-day tasks involve nothing less than world maintenance.


Oh, if you were wondering, the first rule is turn the lights off when you leave a room...just because West pays the utilities doesn't mean he's made of money.

1 comment:

Madame Perry's Salon said...

ooh! this sounds like a fun read!