In a semi-dystopian near future, Darwin is frittering away his time, working at a toll booth long after the sentence mandated by the terms of his parole. Music is the only thing that gives his life any semblance of meaning, so when a mysterious turtle-like creature knocks him unconscious and steals his albums he gives chase. This lands him trapped in an ugly brown cell with a diverse assortment of fellow abductees, all the sort of people willing to chase after kleptomaniac turtles. A sudden jailbreak gives Darwin free run of the strange building, and he encounters a world he never thought possible – including indications that magic may be real. As he explores, he encounters a variety of aliens, a large pink bunny, a morally flexible politician, and a mysterious goddess who haunts his dreams and wants to discuss his fear of death. Darwin may even be falling in love with one of his ex-cellmates. Or is that just fear talking? Hopefully the novel rises above its premise. A list of authors: If this novel manages to convey a fraction of the compelling characterizations of Robin Hobb, the imagination of Neil Gaiman, or the clarity of Kurt Vonnegut, I will be happy. If good artists borrow, then I have attempted to steal everything I can from Steven Brust.
I found it entertaining, different and enjoyable.
I can't pin down why, but I really liked this book. A wacky plot and intriguing characters, it was crazy and fun-loving the whole way. Other than the extended epilogue, there's no next book. Which is a shame 'cause I really want to know where this story goes.