The Lumbering Giants of Windy Pines

The Lumbering Giants of Windy Pines by Mo Netz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Endearing, clever, and with a nice balance between warmth and spookiness, Lumbering Giants packs as many punches as it does hugs, and without being pretentious or outrĂ©, manages to be wholly unique and surprising. The characters are nuanced and relatable, flawed in perfectly human ways, yet empowered with equally human talents and emerging author Mo Nets has done an impressive job of rendering them simple, and effable, and sympathetic on the surface, whilst allowing their complexities to coat the book’s subtext with wondrously layered results: Jerry, with her matter-of-fact and sweet non-conformity, her (to her, anyway) embarrassingly pink wheelchair, her ostensibly imaginary pet dragon, is easy to love and cheer for; She wields self-deprecation and self-esteem clumsily, like a double-edged sword, and has had a lot more uncertainty in her life than stability. Chapel, who Jerry meets in the beginning of Lumbering Giants is one of those rare kids that some of us were lucky enough to know in our youth; Brazenly sharp and precocious, bold and headstrong, but also kind and funny, with a mind for justice and an intolerance for the unfair. The pair’s interactions, dusted with the awkward inexperience of youth, are honest, cute, and somehow both wholesome and cool. Their blossoming friendship is a key ingredient to what makes Lumbering Giants instantly iconic, and it’s a sign of an emerging author who has a cavalcade of fantastic characters waiting to be discovered. Moreover, Netz’s prose is a delight; elegantly blunt, it brightens the senses and serves both story and character with aplomb. As this book just showed up on the scene, I don’t want to give too much away about the story itself, or too many of the creatures and characters therein, as I so enjoyed discovering each new bit of funky forest lore as it arose. But ya know, there might be giants. Dig in and enjoy this’un, folks!

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