Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Eviscerated Panda: Back in Bamboo by Sarah Tipper

So some of you may remember my review of Sarah Tippers first book, the promising Eviscerated Panda: A Metal Tale. Well now she is back with a sequel, that is a significant development on her writing style and a proof of the magic of heavy metal. Her new book Eviscerated Panda: Back in Bamboo is a clear evolution and gives me hope for more Eviscerated Panda books. Tipper has managed to more fully develop her characters in this book and generally craft a more engaging story, a story based on the power, and strange beauty that metal, and our relationships within it, can have.

As I mentioned before, the big advancement in this book is how Tipper has improved in the craft of characterization. Its actually pretty impressive how Tipper is easily able to shift from character to character and give us a more grand picture of the people who make up this story. Furthermore, the way that Tipper is able to show relationships between the characters has vastly improved. That being said, there could still be more dialogue and some more characterization, but as is, Back in Bamboo is a much more engaging read than its predecessor.

Adding to the joy is a really enjoyable storyline. This book follows Eviscerated Panda as they prepare to record their new album and leaves us right before they enter the studio. Less focused on relationship drama, and more on the simple joy of friendship, Sarah Tipper is thus more able to tap into the spirit of her characters and thus able to really create something greater. Though her prose is still evolving I think that with this second book Tipper has a much better understanding not just of what she wants to write, but how to write it. This furthers the triumph of this novel over the previous one, really allowing the reader to dig in and feel with the characters, while fully capturing the magic of going to the pub with all your metal friends on a Saturday night.

Even though Back in Bamboo features the same people and places as its predecessor it is miles ahead in terms of style. The progression is even obvious from the start to finish of the book. As she grows in experience, and consequently talent I think that Tipper is going to rapidly evolve and come into her own, maybe even getting published. I know a third book is on the way, and maybe some of my burning questions will be answered like, will Phil go bald? Will my Ian/Cleo ship ever work out? And can Sarah Tipper be the founding mother of metal fiction?

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