Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've had the privilege of knowing Kiini for over a decade. We were classmates at Clarion West in 2001. One of the best things about that workshop was the people I met; Kiini and I write in very different niches in the genre, and yet she and I have been able to trade a lot of advice and anecdotes on the business of writing. She's also brilliant. Here's my review of her latest collection:
Salaam's a true master of the craft; I read her to learn as much as to enjoy. Her plots are delicately constructed, but I think of them in jeweler's terms. They are the setting for the gems that are her scenes that ooze passion, emotion, and sensuality. With clever formatting, she achieves cinematic intercut scenes, modulates the voice of characters to let us see them from the inside, and shows the scene from different such perspectives, your head spin if it wasn't all so enthralling.
People who know my work should note, Salaam writes with an unabashed sexuality. If you prefer my LDS chick lit, this is *definitely* different. Be ready to check preconceptions and inhibitions at the door. In Salaam's world, the depths of one man's shame are as expansive as our universe and the fall of an angel from a religion older than time evokes a soft pain washed away by morning. A former student of Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson, Kiini Ibura Salaam takes the genre in new and mind blowing directions.
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