Flights of Dark Imagination – Bibliostrumpet 29 September 2011

I love the title of this review – Flights of Dark Imagination.

I have to be honest and say this review has some criticisms of the book, saying there’s too much detail about flight (a criticism I’ve had a few times but also something many readers have told me they’ve loved). There’s some vivid thoughtful praise and the link’s below if you’d like to see the reviewer’s caveats:

“I confess that when I began reading this book, a tiny, scornful voice in my head kept repeating the words, ‘winged humans, this is ridiculous’. But Corbett renders her world in such thorough and vibrant detail that even I was convinced. With lucid, evocative prose, she weaves a wonderfully vivid sense of place, a world of rich colours, sharp contrasts, and soaring perspectives: when Peri flies, it’s ‘sheer giddy pleasure to skim through air, transparent blue and gold,’ and see ‘fields strict as tiles, squares of raw red earth ripped into furrows and laid next to rectangles of emerald pasture, the joins shocking as cuts.’ ….

But When We Have Wings is still a remarkably original and well-executed novel. What’s most striking is how Corbett uses a fantastical concept to reflect our own world so starkly back at us: human wings (or lack thereof) become a metaphor for the dangers of power and privilege, and the human cost of technological advancement. The dilemmas faced by the characters in Corbett’s novel are not, after all, so far removed from our own, although we may not be soaring through the skies for a while yet.”