White Rabbit Society
by Brendan Detzner
Andrew is fifteen years old. He’s been sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer while his parents finish their divorce, but the summer’s up and he’s still stuck up in Wisconsin. And his best and only friend is a monster.
Shadow lives under a gazebo in the park. She has a body made of spare parts, she seems to be omnipotent, and she likes to play chess. Andrew doesn’t tell anybody about Shadow. Nobody listens to him anyway.
Andrew’s Uncle Paul comes to town. Andrew didn’t know he had an Uncle Paul. Paul knows about Shadow. Paul knows lots of things. Some of them are things he shouldn’t know; some of them are things no one should know. And he’s interested in teaching.
Unfortunately, Paul isn’t stopping by just to say hello. He’s being pursued, by people interested in his secrets. People interested in Shadow. And soon, people interested in Andrew.
Publisher: Attack Rabbit Press
Publication: July 15, 2016
Genre: Magic realism, Urban fantasy, Paranormal
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review
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White Rabbit Society by Brendan Detzner
White Rabbit Society by Brendan Detzner was such an interesting and great read, I’m so happy Mr. Detzner asked me to review his novel! It was extremely well written and reminded me a bit of the magic realism from The Dresden Files, but also seemed bit like The Seer by Grant Palmquist in that it revolved around a pair of teens trying to understand the weirdness of the world around them. What made this an extra fun book, however, was the extra element of a club/mafia/mob involvement. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I absolutely LOVE heist and mafia/organized crime type books, so that was such a pleasant addition to find.
After being abandoned at his grandmother’s house, Andrew is bored and lonely, which surprise, surprise, leads to his discovery of Shadow, an ephemeral creature that lives beneath a gazebo at the park. He gives Shadow a name and befriends her. She, in turn, struggles to understand what she is, as well as what is the world she is a part of. Detzner does a great job in portraying not only Shadow’s innocence, but also her and Andrew’s naivete.This culminates towards the books ending, which shows just how Shadow chooses to evolve and the actions she takes.
Then, we have the adults in the story, Paul playing a major part. This is where the mafia/heist elements come into play, as well as family secrets. Paul and his flashbacks are simultaneously one of the best and most informative parts of the book, but also what brought this book down a star. The way he entered into the knowledge of magic, forced his way into the White Rabbit Society, even his birth and upbringing, are all so intriguing and interesting, yet we only see brief instances of these events. Detzner cuts through the present day story with bits of the past, as well as bits of the present with other characters, and it simply doesn’t work as effectively as it could. Were it only cuts between Paul’s past and Andrew’s present, it would make White Rabbit Society much more effective. However, cutting between Paul’s past, Andrew’s present, and then various other side characters from the Society, it just gets too jumbled and confusing. I lost track of who some characters were and how they fit into the story or with each other.
If you’re into urban paranormal/magic realism stories a la Dresden Files, but with a stronger human touch, I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up White Rabbit Society by Brendan Detzner. It is solidly written, well developed, and has a strong plot that really makes me want to check out more his writing.
About the Author
Brendan Detzner writes in a big messy pile of different genres and formats. His work is sometimes funny, sometimes scary, and usually very strange. He lives in Forest Park, IL and runs the Bad Grammar Theater reading series in Chicago. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– via his official website.
You can also support Brendan via his Patreon page.