Review: Or What You Will by Jo Walton

Author: Jo Walton
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: July 7th, 2020
Received: NetGalley

3 1/2 kitties

Like many readers out there, I have a massive backlog of books that I’m desperately trying to read through. Among that list would be everything written by Jo Walton. Naturally, that means I had to make time to read Or What You Will.

Sylvia Harrison is a beloved and award-winning author. Her words come to life, thanks in part to her attention to detail – and character building. One of those characters lives within her mind, waiting for the right world.

However, unlike her novels, Sylvia is not immortal, and time is running out to find the perfect world for this cherished character. And so, a new world, Thalia, is born.

“Writers are not nice people. We can’t be.”

If you’re looking for an in-depth read that will force you to stop and think, Or What You Will is the novel for you. From the description, this book may sound very tongue-in-cheek (and perhaps a little meta)—an author writing about an author, and all that.

However, it actually goes quite a bit deeper than that. It’s a challenge for the readers, one that I believe to be intentional. This might have been off-putting if not for the fact that it also feels as if Jo Walton sliced off a piece of her soul and wove it into the narrative.

Ultimately, I would have to say that this is not a book for everyone. It has the potential to be loved and cherished – much like that mysterious character. But it also has the potential to be too much at times. I’ll have to leave that one to each individual reader to decide.

Thanks to Tor Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.


About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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