e-book The Painted Boy

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I just enjoy visualizing his words. Great story, as always, thank you Mr. Very enjoyable.

Jerzy Kosinski , THE PAINTED BOY - 1995 /English version

Set in SW where a young Boy from Chicago who is the descendant of a Chinese Yellow dragon clan must find a way to understand his power and to rid the community of gangs and other hoodlums. Very much in the urban fantasy vein with a SW twist. The southwestern US desert seemed like an unusual setting for a de Lint novel at first, but the magic that is characteristic of his stories quickly made itself apparent.

Those who have read his work before will recognize the animal spirits before they are explained.

He's got a picture of a golden dragon on his back- not a tattoo, but a design that rose, painfully, through his skin when he was From that time, Paupau trained him intensely, both mentally and physically for his future destiny. What that destiny is, she never said.

She doesn't explain any of it, in fact, but only tells him that he is a golden dragon, like herself. No sooner is Jay off the bus when gangbangers come after him. Their leader wants to see him. He escapes, and runs into Rosalie, aka Our Lady of the Barrio, a teen who takes in all strays that come her way- including human ones. She relies on her gut feeling and has her uncle give Jay a job at his restaurant and a room at his house.

For a couple of weeks, Jay finally has a near normal life- no grandmother and her drills, just work and friends. But of course that can't last. The gangs are ubiquitous and a death occurs. Jay feels responsible and knows he has to find out how to use these powers he's supposed to have. Sadly, the author strikes the lessons of the story home with a sledgehammer, something I have never seen de Lint do before. It has the subtlety of an After School Special. I was greatly surprised by this.

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Also, the characters did not have the depth that I'm used to seeing from de Lint. It was almost like they were just there to serve up the morals of the story. But still, the book is worth reading. The magic that de Lint always weaves is there, making the reader really feel that there is magic in place, in land, in the creatures, in the connections we all share. I don't like the desert, but the author made me see the beauty in it.

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I loved the blending of Native American and Chinese myth. If you're a YA fantasy fan, I'd say give it a try. Just don't expect it to be a warmer, dryer version of Newford. First de Lint book I've failed to finish in short order. Here at Walmart.

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