66 points, 3 ½ stars
Wellington. The wind city. New Zealand’s home of art and culture, but darker forces, forgotten forces, are starting to reappear. Aotearoa’s displaced iwi atua – the patupaiarehe, taniwha, and ponaturi of legend – have decided to make Wellington their home, and while some have come looking for love, others have arrived in search of blood.
A war is coming, and few can stand in their way. Saint (lovably fearless, temporarily destitute, currently unable to find a shirt) may be our only hope. Tony, suddenly unemployed and potentially a taniwha herself, has little choice but to accept the role her bloodline dictates. And Hinewai, who fell with the rain? If she can’t find her one true love, there’s a good chance that none will live to see the morning.
Wellington will never be the same again.
The Wind City had an amazing start. I was captured immediately. I kept wanting to quote parts of it at people, and did probably annoy quite a few people about it when I started. I was so amused and excited about it in the beginning. I mean, we have a…who knows what at that point create a human body and go “You must be my true love.”. Brilliant! I love it already.
I loved how this was urban fantasy that didn’t have any vampires or werewolves or witches. It was all Maori. It was people and things and beliefs I had no idea of before I read this. I had no idea it could create such a rich world. At some point, I’m going to have to look up just how much of The Wind City was based in true myths and how much was made up. There was just so much! What little of the book that was dedicated to Maori myths was really fun and enlightening.
There are three main leads in the series, and pretty much all of them are unreliable narrators by virtue of none of them having a clue about the atua before the start of the book. Every single one of them is learning, and they’re learning from different people who are all telling their side of things. The truth, of course, is somewhere in the middle. I actually like all the leads. They each have their own thing, their own purpose. I just wish they did more.
It was the vast middle of the book that I found boring, and it is where this book lost most of its points. I.just.didn’t.care! I just wanted something to happen. Everything that was happening seemed to happen off screen! We just ended up hearing about it later on as if they didn’t matter. Then we went right back to just..talking and going place and doing nothing in particular.
See, this book is pretty much exactly the Maori version of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The Wind City is about a bunch of kind of fae, kind of god like people or creatures who are trying to learn how to live in a modern world with humans. They’re cold and cruel and they do not have the same morals or emotions as us. And they manage to convince a few humans that they should work with them, to different goals. And the middle is just so dull. There are just so many parallels.
Yes, the ending was actually almost worth it. It was over really quickly, and I’m not quite satisfied with parts of it. Yet, it fit. I went from crushing boredom to interested again within a few paragraphs. It made that change quickly, and I really enjoyed the direction it took. I just feel like this book could have easily been half the length.