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GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray

GOING BOVINE

By Libba Bray

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-73397-7
Publisher: Delacorte

In a marked departure from her Victorian-era Gemma Doyle trilogy, Bray offers a novel about a road trip undertaken by surly Cameron, a 16-year-old mad cow–disease sufferer, Gonzo, his hypochondriac dwarf hospital roommate, and a sentient garden gnome who is actually the Norse god Balder. This decidedly fantastical premise mixes with armchair physics and time-travel theory as they make their way from Texas to Florida. Or possibly Cameron is just hallucinating his way through his last days in a hospital bed. Whichever view of this at times too-sprawling tale readers take, along the way there is plenty of delightfully funny dialogue (“Okay, Balder? Could you and your Norse goodness do me a solid and take a hike? I need a minute here”) and enough real character development, in spite of all the purposefully zany details, to cause genuine concern for their respective fates. Fans of the author’s previous works will not be disappointed, and it may appeal to science-fiction and fantasy fans with a taste for dry humor as well. (Fantasy. 14 & up)