The questions tantalize me. What is Xanther? Is she turning into something and, if so, what is that something? What are the orbs? Why is the “kitten” so attracted to Mefisto? How do the various storylines fit together? Why are the twins having nightmares? What is the Forest? And, what is it with all those cats? The Familiar: Honeysuckle & Pain creates more questions than answers.
The Familiar: Honeysuckle & Pain is the third novel in The Familiar series by Mark Z. Danielewki. ( The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May and The Familiar, Into the Forest) Despite the 800+ page length, it is more like an individual chapter of The Familiar than like a standalone novel. As with the earlier books, punctuation and graphics take me to greater depths of feeling than the vast majority of other novels that I have read. The storytelling, including the choice of details, is beautifully crafted. Unlike the previous books, the majority of the story is focused on Xanther, the awkward, amazing little girl in the story.
The Familiar Series, which is probably more a huge novel than a series, is demanding for me as a reader, requiring me to remember the storyline that came before. But, I do so love it. A bit of thoughtful philosophy. A meaningful quotable. A perfect little sub-plot. An unexpectedly deep feeling. A tiny plot twist. I let out a tiny gasp, “this is so, so cool.” The next installation of the story comes out this winter.