Author: TJ Klune
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 324 pages
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.
The people here know certain things as fact:
Amorea is the best little town there is.
The only good Commie is a dead Commie.
The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.
And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.
Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.
But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.
Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.
Do not pass go.
Do not read this review if you do not want even the smallest of spoilers.
Don’t do it. I’m warning you.
So, my first TJ Klune book was Wolfsong. I read it this summer, and it turned me into a teary eyed fool. I have a couple of Klune’s books on my Kindle, but I never got around to reading them. I decided to dive in with Wolfsong, and it ultimately made me a fan. When the review request came around for Murmuration, I was on board.
What’s the book about? Well, the blurb pretty much tells it all. It’s 1954. We meet Mike and Sean. Sean is a waiter at a diner in Amorea. Amorea is a small town in the heart of America where all the townspeople are like Mr. Rogers on speed. They are SUPER friendly. Everyone has been watching Mike pine after Sean for three years. They’ve essentially already made them a couple in their minds, but it’s never become official. You even have the head of their book club trying to get these two together.
Okay… my first hint that something was askew? It’s 1954. Two men are being cheered on for their fondness toward each other, and the townspeople are planning and plotting ways to get them together. WHAT ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IS THIS? It sounds heavenly, but honestly, our world has shitty tendencies. There’s no way this would’ve happened without some pushback. Love is indeed love but in 1954? Um, not so much.
Mike is building up to telling Sean he wants to be exclusive. There’s also a May/December thing going on. Sean is twenty-three, and Mike is thirty-six (hubba hubba). Mike starts seeing things that aren’t there and hearing voices from people who aren’t there. He’s driving himself crazy trying to figure out what the freak is going on. Every time he attempts question anyone about anything in Amorea that he finds out of the ordinary, they have no response. They can’t remember. It’s like brain fart central. Odd, right?
There are no cars in Amorea, no children. Memories are fuzzy. Words that should come quickly to Mike are missing from his vocabulary. He can’t go outside of the town’s city limits, and whenever he tries, he wakes up in his bedroom trying to piece together what happened. The buildup was intriguing but slow going. I was getting a little bored around the 35% mark. But things had to happen in this particular sequence to get to the actual plot.
That being? It is an alternate universe. Kind of, sort of, definitely. It would require me being wayyyy more spoilery to fill you in, but I don’t want to ruin the experience.
If you’re fan of movies and books with a psychological twist, you will most certainly enjoy Murmuration. There’s dream sequences, pod people, flashbacks, and all kinds of crazy goodness. My emotions were all over the place reading this book. I hated it. I loved it. I was pissed. I was annoyed. I was oohing and ahhing. I was impatient. But because TJ Klune took me on a rollercoaster ride, I give Murmuration five-stars. It was insane.
Sci-fi/fantasy geeks, this might be your cup of tea. I have to say; this is definitely one of the more unusual books I read this year, but that’s a good thing. Klune is still an author that I will continue to follow. He certainly knows how to take me on a journey and reading is about being sucked into the author’s world. Amorea was both creepy and satisfyingly intriguing. Everyone has their version of happiness and it was a truly happy place for Mike.