I picked up Regina’s Song on a recommendation and I’m glad I did. It’s a book which is hard to categorize but is probably best described as a thriller – it’s the story of Mark, a graduate student at the University of Washington, and his pseudo-sister Twinkie – and the fight for Twinkie’s sanity.
(Before I go any further, have a trigger warning: there is discussion of rape and murder in this review and in this book.)
See, Twinkie lost her identical twin sister in a rape/murder a couple of years back and she went a bit lost afterward. Even now, no one is sure whether Renata or Regina lived and whether Regina or Renata died – they know Twinkie is one of them, but which?
Meanwhile, Mark is living his life as a grad student in English while sharing a house with a group of other grad students. Twinkie is auditing classes at the university as an undergrad while living with her (awesome) aunt. Oh, and there’s someone in town killing small-time drug dealers/gang members in a very very violent manner. Add in a little Catholic mysticism, and you’ve got an intriguing and very well-written book.
I really liked Mark’s character voice – which is important, since we’re very much in his head. Yes, he’s a bit of a self-insert for David Eddings. I am 100% certain that Mark’s views on computers and various authors (Milton, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc.) come straight from Eddings. I am also 100% certain that Mark’s philosophy on teaching either comes from Eddings or someone Eddings knew. But he’s still entertaining, interesting, and a lot of fun, and he drew me into the story.
Twinkie (no matter which twin she is) is also interesting. She flips between cutesy, creepy, and completely coming apart. There’s layers in that girl, and all of them deserve examining.
They’re surrounded by an intriguing cast of characters, from Aunt Mary to Father O’Donnell to the boarding house crew – and many more besides. Everyone was an individual. Seattle was also well-represented, and it was obvious the authors knew the area.
In some ways, the book leaves you with as many questions as answers – what is sanity? Are the twins really two separate people? When is murder justified?
But all in all, it made me think while keeping me reading and enjoying it.
And so it gets
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