[Book Review] Project Elfhome by Wen Spencer

Project Elfhome by Wen Spencer
Project Elfhome by Wen Spencer

Pittsburgh: a sprawling modern Earth city stranded in the heart of a virgin forest on Elfhome. Sixty thousand humans, twenty thousand black-winged tengu, ten thousand elves, an unknown number of invading oni, four unborn siblings of an elf princess, three dragons, and a pair of nine-year olds geniuses.

For every story written, there’s a thousand others not told. Lives interweave. Fates intersect. People change one another, often without realizing the impact they’ve made on others. They come together like a mosaic, little pieces creating a greater picture.

Project Elfhome tells the stories of those impacted by Tinker and Windwolf as they struggle to make Pittsburgh a safe haven. Some of the characters are familiar: Stormsong, Pony, Blue Sky, and Lain. Others are new to readers.

Law forages for wild plants and fish to sell to elf enclaves. A social misfit, she drives a hundred year old Dodge, has a pet porcupine, and saves damsels in distress in her spare time. A mysterious phone call sets her on a collision course with danger as she races to save a young female elf.

Jane Kryskill is the producer for the popular TV series Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden. She spends her days keeping her host, Hal Rogers, from getting himself killed as he takes on man eating plants. She’s not happy when the network drops famed naturalist Nigel Reid and his cameraman in her lap to film Chased by Monsters.

Olivia is sixteen, a runaway wife of a religious cultist, illegal immigrant, and soon to be mother. As Pittsburgh plunges into war, she makes a desperate bargain with the mad elf lord, Forest Moss.

As the war between the elves and the oni builds to a head, these three women struggle with their own problems, supported by a circle of unique friends, yet entangled with each other.

A long introduction, but this really needs it.  This is a compilation of shorter stories from Wen Spencer’s Elfhome world. This book contains stories that never made it into novels, the ‘what if’ stories, and a few stories that fill in the blanks between.

This was my first introduction to Wen Spencer and Elfhome and I found it a great introduction. When you pick up the book, you may not know the main characters or any of the storylines, but before you’re through you are going to want to read the full stories.

I love the fact that the author explains her thinking on many of the stories, why she wrote, why they didn’t get included in main storyline, or just because they were fun. The stories are entertaining and the characters believable.

Project Elfhome by Wen Spencer
Project Elfhome by Wen Spencer

One story in the series of them stood out to me, because I was interrupted before I could finish. ‘Peace Offering’ had me entirely pulled in and I had to put the book down before I reached the end. I wasn’t able to return to the story until the next day. I eagerly picked up the book and started devouring the rest of the story, only to find myself going What the HELL?  The story ended two pages later in a cliffhanger. I was extremely disappointed and put the book down, only to come back to it a while later and find out that the next story ‘Price of Peace’ was a continuation and I was delighted as I got to read the conclusion. I sincerely hope that there is more forthcoming on Forest Moss and his pregnant teenage bride.

Well done, Wen Spencer. I don’t think I have been that enthused, disappointed, and then thrilled again with any other book.

Project Elfhome gets 4.5 stars

Written by: Wen Spencer
Cover Art by Dave Seeley (believe me, this cover doesn’t do his work justice)
Published by Baen Books

How we rate our Books

1 = We finished the book with effort

2 = Readable, but more fluff than substance

3 = Good

4 = Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends

5 = We couldn’t put the book down


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