Cover image for Preternatural3
Bonanno, Margaret Wander.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : TOR, 2002.
Physical Description:
335 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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First, it was telepathic jellyfish. Then, it was a bit of time travel that altered history. Or did it? But now . . .We're way beyond jellyfish this time, baby.In the third Preternatural novel, our human friend Karen and the alien known as Govannon learn once again that time ain't what it's cracked up to be.Govannon's people, a.k.a., TQ, have always had the knack of transmigrating from There to Here. Or is it Here to There? But then a timeline hiccuped, stranding the entire species between dimensions, out of time. In short, neither Here nor There.Meanwhile, one of Govannon's human avatars seems to be in two places at once. Or is he actually two different people? Unless they solve this conundrum, Govannon may never find his species or his way back home. He'll have to settle for a human life and spend the rest of that life trying not to change anything. And we all know how difficult that can be. Besides, if he goes human on her, Karen's will lose him, because he'll either be married or dead, and she can't decide which would be worse.So here we go again. Along the way, Karen and Govannon intervene in a kidnapping, tangle with a group of neo-Nazis, and encounter a woman who may be the illegitimate daughter of the Nazi mastermind Joseph Goebbels. They're even involved in the search for a missing billion-dollar Russian art treasure. All of which bears a striking resemblance to a spy novel that Karen once wrote but couldn't sell.Except this time her fiction turns out to be fact. Again. Or is it the other way around?With her usual stylistic flare, Bonanno takes the reader on another roller-coaster ride through the Möbius strip of time, in what is meant to be her swan song in "professional" publishing before she vanishes into a dimension all her own.Be seeing you . . .

Author Notes

Margaret Wander Bonanno is the author of the critically acclaimed Preternatural and Preternatural Too: Gyre . She lives in Santa Monica, California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Bonanno's novel begins in the middle, proceeds to the beginning, and wanders around in several more middles before settling on something masquerading as an ending. She plays fast and loose with linear narrative, which fits dealing with the alien Third Thing, or TQ. Unfortunately, the entire TQ species is stranded between dimensions. Govannon, one of them, wants to free them from that situation. Karen wants to solve the problem of Govannon's human avatars existing in the same time; if she doesn't, Govannon will have to settle for a finite human life. Meanwhile, there is a backstory involving another set of aliens that began as a subplot in a novel Karen was writing that turned out to be not quite fictional, and there is a telekinetic jellyfish who sends Karen careering through time as everything from an artisan in ancient Britain to a traveler in the far future. Apply sufficient concentration, and the structure of Karen's lives becomes clearer. It is / they are already entertaining, only partly because of the unusual narrative structure. Regina Schroeder.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Good things usually come in threes but, alas, not here. In the concluding volume of Bonanno's critically acclaimed Preternatural series, self-pity has largely displaced the wit that distinguished the first two books (Preternatural; Preternatural Too: Gyre). In the novel's opening pages, Karen Rohmer Guerreri, the time-traveling "midlist writer," happily experiences life in the form of a mud puppy, thanks to her alien lover, Govannon (time traveler and Third Thing-TQ). Then, with apologies to the "Gentle Reader," the "Narrator" interrupts the story and launches into a diatribe on the unfairness of the publishing industry to authors, segueing awkwardly into remarks on the slippery plot lines unveiled in the first two books (i.e., the S.oteri, who don't do the time-travel thing, and the TQ, who can). While clever and light in the previous books, these asides now sound whiny and intrude on a plot that's murky enough as it is, involving time-line hiccups and the dubious wisdom of falling in love with time-traveling aliens. Govannon must solve the conundrum of one of his human avatars appearing in two places at once. If he gets stuck in human form, Karen could lose him forever. Mix in the well-written subplot novel, The Amber Room, which Karen wrote and can't sell, and you have one mixed kettle of fish, or mud puppies. (Oct. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Midlist author Karen Guerreri's previous encounters with a pair of alien species have introduced her to the concept of travel in time and space. When Govannon, an alien capable of taking human form, becomes trapped with the rest of his species in a place between dimensions, Karen must find a solution to his dilemma or condemn him to a solitary existence as his race's sole survivor. The author of Preternatural and Preternatural Too creates an intriguing supernatural mystery featuring a protagonist whose incisive observations on life and literary pursuits add a humorously ironic dimension to a tale that belongs in most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.