The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) – Worth it!

I truly believe if I had read this book on paper and not listened to the audio version it would have been a full five star book.  I love an author who plays with form and perspective and Jimenez certainly does that, but because I was listening to the audio version, it took me a third of the book before I realized what Jimenez was doing. So fair warning, if you have access to the hard copy I highly recommend having it on hand, even if you are listening to the audio version.

Now with that said, Jimenez takes the reader on a wild ride through time, world and political intrigue all in the course of days. The novel reads like a creation myth that has been excavated from a lost civilization. I don’t know enough about Jimenez and his influences to rule out such intentions. Jimenez also plays with the expected novel structure particularly with quick cuts to side characters’ internal monologues that supports the novel’s otherworldly-ness. Between a world saving quest, political intrigue and an intense love story this novel has it all and Jimenez weaves it together beautifully.  

There is deep tragedy, wholesome family moments, violence, monsters and a world that is both far-fetched and familiar. I am unsure how or why this book works, but it does, or at least it did for me. I enjoyed the character development from the protagonists to these odd supporting actors, to the turtles which you will have to read the book to know more about. The imagination and intertwining of legend, oral history, lived experience and social expectation is a masterpiece. I would simply have to read it again to absorb and appreciate all the nuance and delicate connections Jimenez makes. 

Highly recommend if this type of book is up your alley. Perhaps not for a new fantasy reader or if you don’t like your expectations subverted. Otherwise enjoy this wild and worthy ride.

Happy Reading!

Two sisters blogging and sharing reviews and opinions about every type of book all year round.

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