Read Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones Online


A fantasy adventure about saving the universe one world at a time from Diana Wynne Jones. The companion novel to the bestselling The Merlin Conspiracy.Magids look after all worlds, steer them towards magic, and keep history happening. But Rupert Venables’ mentor has just died, and as the junior magid on earth he has to find a replacement while also trying to find the lostA fantasy adventure about saving the universe one world at a time from Diana Wynne Jones. The companion novel to the bestselling The Merlin Conspiracy.Magids look after all worlds, steer them towards magic, and keep history happening. But Rupert Venables’ mentor has just died, and as the junior magid on earth he has to find a replacement while also trying to find the lost heir of a collapsing empire, worlds away. Rupert interweaves the fate lines to get all the candidates together at a sci-fi fantasy convention, and havoc ensues as they all converge on a very strange hotel, where everything is always linked, the walls keep moving, people are trying to kill him, and nothing is as it seems…a magical, epic story from the Godmother of fantasy....

Title : Deep Secret
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780007507542
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 526 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Deep Secret Reviews

  • Lightreads
    2019-05-17 17:56

    Adorable. It’s a DWJ book, so it’s all multi-universe wizards who end up solving their problems while attending a scifi convention, also baby animals. It is sweet and silly and one of those stories where every plot thread converges in a charmingly improbable bow with built in deus ex machina. But it’s DWJ, so it is also wryly observed, a little dry, a little piercing. But still kind. I mean, it’s set at a scifi convention in all the embarrassing/awesome/exhausting spectacle you’d expect, and she is so droll about it – like when you facepalm but you’re grinning behind it.I love her like this, writing about grownups but for young people. (Rather than a lot of her books about children for children, which often bore me.) She had this way of writing about adults for children that keeps them from being aliens. Hell, it’s DWJ – the aliens aren’t alien. Just a keen eye and a steady hand, that was her.

  • Pam Baddeley
    2019-05-07 17:10

    I'm a great fan of Diana Wynne Jones' work and came to this book with high expectations. It is obviously pitched at adults and YA rather than the younger children a lot of her other work is aimed at, given the focus on two main characters in their twenties and the occasional sexual reference and one instance of f*** in dialogue, which I've never seen in her other work. However, I was left a little disappointed although there is a lot of good writing and interesting set pieces, possibly because her characters didn't 'grab' quite as much as usual, and there were pacing and structural problems.The book starts with the POV of Rupert Venables who is junior Magid on Earth. Magids are wizards who are responsible for keeping the multiverse, of which Earth is a tiny part, in balance. Magids have various abilities, a key one being that they can travel from one world to another to get to wherever their services are required. Rupert is stuck with the responsibility of helping a particularly nasty Empire world that has a number of other worlds under its thumb. Early on in the story he has to attend a trial there, where he is shocked by the Emperor's verdict. Soon afterwards, a major incident puts the whole Empire in jeopardy, and over the course of the book, Rupert is increasingly drawn in to try to help those who are fending off a civil war.When he returns from the trial, he discovers that his mentor Stan is dying. Stan gives him a list of possible replacements, as Rupert will no longer be the junior Magid and must train the new junior. The first candidate he manages to track down is Maree who is completely impossible - so impossible that I found I disliked her also and the effect was slow to wear off. Another character, a 14-year old boy Nick, is Maree's best friend. He is totally self centred so is also rather irritating. He goes on to appear in the second Magid story, The Merlin Conspiracy.After the first few chapters the story suddenly switches to Maree's POV, at which point I realised she was going to be important, and we do gradually learn why she is the way she is. It did make her a little more sympathetic, but I still wasn't a fan. Or of Rupert either, as he is rather bland and boring.Rupert has huge problems tracking the other possible Magids down and resorts to magically luring them all to a science fiction/fantasy convention being held at a town which is a node of power - where his troubles really begin, as all the other candidates turn out to be even more awful than Maree. Someone is making mischief with the power they are drawing from the node. And as the story progresses, it's obvious that whoever is behind the problems in the Empire is completely ruthless and will balk at nothing, including child murder. Meanwhile, Rupert starts to realise that his feelings for Maree are changing.A lot of the story is about Rupert balancing his two heavy responsibilities: finding a suitable person to train, and resolving the problems in the Empire as they escalate. Pacing is uneven with the story dragging in places. After the pivotal scene where Rupert has to return to the Empire to meet a certain individual with key information about possible heirs to the Emperor, things do swing into high action and it proceeds much faster. The book is quite humorous, with the various characters at the SF/Fantasy con sketched well and all sorts of farcical misunderstandings where the con-goers witness magical events - though readers may find the constant 'jokes' about fat people rather wearing. There are also clonky wrong notes that bring the reader to a halt with a bump such as when(view spoiler)[ Rupert picks up Maree who is, to all intents and purposes, dying and says he is 'puzzled to discover that, holding her like this, light, limp and frost cold, was one of the most sexual experiences I have ever had'! (hide spoiler)]The structural problem that really grinds the story to a halt is the very odd decision to include the first person narratives of various characters in a big talky scene at the end, instead of dropping them in at the point where they would naturally occur. Presumably this was to leave the fate of certain characters in question for longer, but it could still have been managed without having to shoehorn this whole section in at the end after everything was otherwise resolved, just so we found out what had happened to the rest of them. This, added on to a long denouement scene at the convention, made the story reach a rather limp conclusion.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-04 13:50

    I love fantasy. I love stories about parallel universes or the multiverse. I love Diana Wynne Jones. So why, exactly, did I not hear about this book until February of last year? (Which is when Goodreads tells me I added it to my stupidly enormous to-read list.) I can only fathom that a Magid was at me, maybe effing around with my fate-lines or something.Oh, what's that? You don't know what I'm talking about? Well, I have a pretty easy way to fix that. It's called reading this book.Deep Secret is about Magids, a kind of practical wizard responsible for keeping the multiverse in balance magically (the multiverse, of course, being the idea that there an infinite number of universes connecting in a chain on and on and on forever). Magids hop from world to world doing their thing. Rupert Venables has only been a Magid for two years when his mentor dies and he suddenly finds himself responsible for not only tracking down his potential replacements (who are making themselves very hard to find) and choosing one of them to train, but also finds himself in the middle of a burgeoning civil war brought on by the assassination of the Emperor of Koryfos, a set of worlds Rupert is assigned to. So now he's got to track down all the Emperor's children that he previously hid where no one, including himself, could find them, because he was a paranoid git.But that's just the summary. As I usually find with DWJ books, the real joy is in the execution. Her characters have warts, lots of them (sometimes literally). They make mistakes and get angry for no reason, and they frequently find themselves wrapped up in situations they have no control over. They are human in non-human circumstances (in this case, most of the book is set at a sff book convention). It is so much fun. Her stuff always has this lovely almost-tangible feel to it that makes you want to move in to her books and stay there. This is probably my favorite of hers since I read Howl's Moving Castle. It wasn't without its flaws (it is a bit dated, notably in the way she keeps referring to a certain character as 'fat'), but I feel like it's the kind of book I'll end up coming back to over and over again until I can no longer find anything wrong with it and all that's left is love. That's how it was with Howl for me, at least. Speaking of, totally excited to re-read that series later this year, and finally read the third book that came out in 2008, and that I've owned since 2010 and have never read.

  • Book Riot Community
    2019-05-23 19:06

    I’m back on a comfort reading roll, and when that happens, I always turn to Diana Wynne Jones. I’d already exhausted the usual suspects, like Howl’s Moving Castle, so I finally picked up Deep Secret. I’d forgotten how unabashedly weird and delightful it is: Multiverses, conventions, and centaurs. There is so much going on, and it is so good.— Jessica Yangfrom The Best Books We Read In January 2017:

  • Punk
    2019-05-03 12:04

    Fantasy. Wikipedia is quick to point out that this book was "marketed to adults." I expected a little bit of romance, or maybe some salty language. What I got was the gruesome death of several characters, including three children, a passing reference to an orgy in a stairwell, and a plot that's more tangled than usual. From the very first page this was a struggle to read. Not only is it missing Jones' normally transparent prose, I didn't care about any of the characters, could not keep straight what was going on with Iforion due to the jerky pacing, and felt uncomfortable with the way fans and fannish behavior were viewed by outsiders. I did like how Jones folded actual fantasy elements into the convention, and I loved the imagery surrounding thornlady, the disagreeable bush-goddess, simple, yet menacing, the way the best enemies are.This has some nice moments in it, but the fantasy elements are of the type that use Capital Letters in place of actual explanations, and it just didn't feel real. Also there was something REALLY WEIRD going on with the eroticisation of the teenaged centaur. ALSO, when the main character picks up the almost lifeless body of his female companion, he describes it as "one of the most sexual experiences [he has] ever had." Seriously. Yuck.Two stars. I'm calling this one a dud.

  • Robin Stevens
    2019-05-03 16:07

    One of my favourite comfort reads, and one that never disappoints. This is so funny and on-point about writers, fan communities, conventions and love (and of course magic, multiple universes and all of the problems associated with trying to run a galaxy) and I think I get more from it every time.

  • Lis Carey
    2019-05-22 13:07

    The senior Magid responsible for Earth and the adjacent Koryfonic Empire (which is considerably more magic-infested than Earth) has died, and his successor has to recruit a new junior Magid, while dealing with the total disaster that the Koryfonic Empire has become in the aftermath of the assassination of the Emperor, who had m ade sure that his heirs were completely safe from being located and used against him while he was alive. Careful consideration of his problems yields the useful discovery that he can deal with the problem of recruiting a new Magid by meeting all of the likely candidates at a science fiction convention (Eastercon). It's not that simple, of course, and his problems not only become intertwined, but turn out to have been intertwined since before he became aware of them. Poor Rupert Venables, just trying to do his job, has more troubles than anyone should have in any two lifetimes. Great fun.

  • Kim
    2019-04-26 14:04

    I read this at the same time as Fantasti*Con due to the fact they were both set around conventions. Maybe not a good thing as I sometimes was confused between the two conventions wondering where certain characters were. But in the end I separated and enjoyed them both.This novel is set in an alternate (or perhaps not) universe where they are a group of people known as Magids whose job is, well it's a bit unclear. They help their assigned worlds with various issues and help maintain the magical equilibrium around the great Infinity. I think. It's not exactly clear. One of Earth's Magids, Rupert, is tasked with finding a new Magid after his supervisor passed away. There has to be the same number of Magids at all time. At the same time as trying to check all potential trainees Rupert is called upon by the Korfyros Empire, a PITA he also assists, after a dramatic upheaval threatens to destroy the whole thing. Throughout the book these two plots intertwine and inevitable become one. It was a good book and quite enjoyable but the pacing suffered at times. Sped up then slowed down then sped up then slowed down. The book starts in Ruperts POV then abruptly shifts to the other main character, Maree, then forward and back. I liked the way it showed both sides of what was going on but it did sometimes make things feel a bit repetitive. I wasn't a fan of Nick and I think the characters of Rob and Andrew needed a bit more time, same with Nick's mother. My main issue was with the ending. It ended rather quick and there was no closing POV chapter from Maree, instead we had the first and final chapter from Nick. It made the book feel unfinished and left me a little disappointed. Overall not a bad book though I think I will take a break from Diana Wynne Jones for a while now.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-18 11:55

    This was the second book by Wynne Jones that I've read. The previous one, Howl's Moving Castle, was fantastic. My daughter and I just loved it and I was looking forward to this one. I was disappointed. It is supposedly pitched to a more "adult" audience, but the author seems to think that means throw in a little sex, esp. references to the male narrator's tastes and observations, rather than exploring deeper or more complex philosophical ideas. Also, the plot just didn't seem well put together. One big chunk was totally out of sequence for no apparent reason. I've heard the excuse "it didn't fit the narrative flow earlier" but I've seen other authors deal with this problem beautifully. The characters seemed shallow and not very likable. I got tired of the fat references. I mean, really, it needed to be said that the fatter characters got up earlier to eat breakfast? Really? Sadly disappointed and will not continue with this series.

  • Kate
    2019-05-19 14:01

    I've read this book 9 times, and it's still one of my favorites of all time. When someone complains to me that all fantasy is starting to get too similar, I whip out my copy (always on hand) and force them to listen while I read to them my favorite passages. While it takes a good re-read in order to catch all of the cul de sacs and crannies in the plot, I enjoyed this book more than most, and just as much as the rest of ms. Jones's novels.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-18 11:04

    The narrator for Rupert sounded a little young to me, but otherwise Deep Secret worked really well as an audiobook.

  • Rindis
    2019-05-21 15:51

    Deep Secret begins with a cryptic message that the following was secretly deposited in the archive at Iforion. I'd pretty much forgotten that by the time reference was made to it late in the book. There's a number of things from early on that circle back into prominence towards the end.To a certain extent, it is a standard contemporary fantasy novel: Earth is one of a large number of alternate worlds, which have varying amounts of magic, and there is an organization of high-power mages that keep an eye on the multi-verse. The part that is a delight for someone like me, is that the bulk of the middle of the story takes place at a SF convention. It's obvious that Jones was thoroughly familiar with them. I don't know any of the people she describes, but they'd all fit in at any con; I know a lot of people who are very like them.The hotel with the mirrors at every corner? Been there. (Thankfully, I have yet to encounter more than four right turns in a row, though there are hotels where it feels possible.)The story itself has a slow start, with the main character switching between two disconnected plotlines. However, this smooths out, and in the end, everything is shown to have a place in the overall structure. It's not a stellar book, but it is a fun one, and there's a lot of extra fun to be had if you're used to the con circuit.

  • Evelyn
    2019-05-14 13:09

    I read The Merlin Conspiracy several years back and didn't realize it was part of a series until recently. Having liked TMC a lot (the second time I read it), I went in with high expectations that were completely, utterly, exceeded. The combination of fantasy with scifi and contemporary setting was wonderfully executed. Rupert, with all his flaws, was a striking main character - but I confess that once Maree was introduced from her own viewpoint my allegiances switched to her. Diana Wynne Jones has such a way of conveying the most uncomfortable, awkward, unpleasant interpersonal relationships - every indignation that Maree suffered, at the hands of Janine and others, evoked massive empathy. Awkward unattractive idealistic girl seen by others as a loser, never catching a break...okay, Maree was just awesome. The only thing that irked me about her was her reactionary flight from her uncle's pragmatism. (I happen to like machines and formulae...) Nick was a little annoying, which lined up with how he was portrayed in TMC, so that was all right. In all - splendid. I'm going to have to read every other book of hers I can get my hands on.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-09 17:44

    This was an awesome, fun, magical, interesting, creative, like-no-other, trope-inverting book. My gosh, some of it took place at a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention, for goodness sake! WHAT A GREAT TIME! Fantastic character development, as well- went from hating the primary main character to adoring him by the end of the book. :) And here's a thing that is weird- I still don't understand some of what the magic of this book was- it was baffling- but it was so good that this lack of understanding doesn't cost me any enjoyment. This book was still so fabulous that it's 5 stars ANYWAY.Looking forward to eventually reading more of Jones' work, for sure.

  • Mariah
    2019-05-08 18:54

    REALLY FANTASTIC.Incredibly clever, I adore Maree in all her blotchy sobbing glory, the magic system & the affectionate love with which the convention is described is just... wonderful. There's a really unique quality that all of DWJ's books share - no other author makes me grin quite so much!

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)
    2019-05-19 14:02

    LOVED rereading this!

  • Cherish
    2019-04-23 13:06

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with anything and everything having to do with Diana Wynne Jones, so this review might be a tiny bit totally biased.Despite its five stars, this story had a lot of problems and holes in it that were never quite filled in. While DWJ is wonderful at world-building and character development, she has a hard time explaining what's going on; and at any given time a LOT of things are going on (poor Rupert!). The good news is that this story is just so hecking good you will forget within two paragraphs what you were confused about in the first place. One of the things I actually really like about this book was that she didn't spend whole pages trying to explain things that were already established in that world. Yeah, okay, centaur fathers care more about their sister's offspring than their own. Why? Fuck if I know, let's move on.The real driving force behind the glowing light of those five stars from me is the fact that I love Diana Wynne Jones with a fiery passion and she doesn't even need to build up any sort of connection between her characters for one to able to love them completely to death. This is one of those books that caused me to sit and stare out the window for a bit after I finished because it was hard to let the story go.

  • Em (2AM Reads)
    2019-05-16 11:50

    "This empire," he said, "was built of planks of delusion over a real cesspit." Thank you Diana Wynne Jones for writing some of the best sentences I have ever read in my entire life, including this one.

  • Louise
    2019-05-23 19:08

    This was brilliant! Read on a suggestion from a friend and am delighted. Magic and technology is a great combination! Really enjoyed the characters and their voice acting!

  • Brandy Painter
    2019-04-29 15:09

    4.5 starsOriginally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.I'm still making my way through the full backlist of Diana Wynne Jones. Since I was participating in the 48 Hour Book Challenge last weekend, I decided it was a good time to tackle Deep Secret. I've owned this book for a while but hadn't gotten to it yet. It was an excellent book. Not surprising.Rupert Venables is a young Magid. As a young Magid, it is his job to look after the Empire of Koryfos. It always goes to the youngest Magid because no one else wants it. Upon returning from a trip there that fills him with as much disgust as possible, Rupert is faed with the death of his mentor. Since Magids must be replaced as quickly as possible, Rupert (who is again the default Magid responsible for this) begins his search with names Stan left him. After meeting the person he thought was his most likely candidate, Maree Mallory, and immediately taking a dislike to her, he begins a working to draw all his final candidates to one place and time so he can evaluate them all at once. The place is the Hotel Babylon and the time is a sci-fi fantasy convention taking place there over a weekend. Much to Rupert's exasperation none of the other candidates are up to snuff. Maree turns up at the convention as well and turns out to be not as bad as Rupert feared. And because everything has to happen at once, the Empire of Koryfos is falling apart after a mass assassination. No one knows who the next ruler is supposed to be, and they need Rupert's help. Now Rupert has more than one magical working in the process and may have be in way over his head.Diana Wynne Jones excelled at writing a certain type of hero. That type of hero happens to be the type I love to read about which always makes her books fun for me. Rupert fits nicely with the others I love but he also has his own individual personality. He is arrogant and a little to sure of himself. He spirals into panic so fast when everything starts coming down around him, and it's quite delightful. I did like that he knew when he needed to get help, and that he had a supportive community willing to help him when he needed it. The narrative switches between Rupert and Maree. Maree is an excellent foil for Rupert, and her naive and innocent, yet equally annoyed perspective on everything that is happening is a great counter-point to his frustrated, overwhelmed, harried, pessimistic one. Maree's younger cousin, Nick, is also a pivotal character and is a DWJ hero in training. He is basically a younger version of Rupert, a fact Rupert is hilariously unaware of for a good deal of the story and has to have pointed out to him by more than one person. I loved all three of them and all the supporting characters.One thing I love about Diana Wynne Jones is that her novels defy age categorization. We need more novels that do this. Does this book work as YA? Yes. Does it work as adult? Yes. Could even work as a MG? Yes. It is good fantasy for any age reader who loves stories with magic, centaurs, zany capers, and humor. What I really like about Deep Secret is how it celebrates but also pokes fun at the industry that has built up around speculative fiction. There are some problematic aspects in this (fat jokes that are unnecessary), but for the most part it is done well and balances on a fine line. Basically in the end I loved this because it was fun and complex at the same time. It has serious moments, but it never takes itself seriously overall. I'm looking forward to reading the companion novel, The Merlin Conspiracy.

  • Leenna Naidoo
    2019-05-07 14:13

    In brief:I hadn’t read a Diana Wynne Jones in years. I had found some of her newer ones a little less mature for my liking. And then I found Deep Secret last week. I couldn’t put it down. I even read it through a bad migraine. It has all the elements of my most beloved Diana Wynne Jones stories, plus some new ones to boot.The Whole story:Magids secretly guide worlds towards magic, regulate magic and help worlds sort out magical problems. Rupert is a fairly new Magid with two massive problems. One is to sort out the problems of a vast Empire when it starts to crumble. The other, and more worrying one, is to find a new Magid from Earth to mentor now that his old mentor, Stan, has stopped breathing. Rupert’s problem is getting all five candidates together to best evaluate who should join the ranks of Magids. He also has to try to figure out why someone wants him dead, and why the most aggravating candidate of all, Maree, keeps aggravating him! It might be the Witchy Dance or her cousin Nick, then again, it might not.I didn’t know what to expect going into this story. I wasn’t expecting Bristol (a place I’ve never been) to defy motorists again, but it did. I wasn’t expecting to like the characters as much as I did, but I did. And I wasn’t expecting to get so involved in the plot again, but (you guessed it) I did.I’ve always admire the way Diana Wynne Jones incorporates rhymes and poetry into her story-lines, presenting them as bits of magic lore.What could have been better:It ended way to soon!Fun facts:I loved the Witchy Dance and wished I’d thought of it myself. I’ll have to try it someday.Bristol appeared not to have changed much since Polly Whittaker was last there.Although technology has come a long way since this book was written, geek speak has not, IT-wise.As a writer, it’s interesting to see how Jones managed the changing viewpoints. It’s the first time I’ve encountered them in her novels.So what did I learn from this whole experience?I learnt that there is more to Diana Wynne Jones after Howl’s Moving Castle. I learnt that I should play more computer games if I want to learn some real magic. And that some viruses are nastier on computers.Recommended to: as a follow up to Fire and Hemlock and Archer’s Goon; to new readers of Dianna Wynne Jones, anyone whose been to, or has ever wanted to go to, a Fantasy Con.

  • Myles
    2019-05-11 18:43

    DWJ Book Toast, #10Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite fantasy authors, growing up and now, and I was saddened by the news of her death. I can't say I'm overcome with emotion - as personal as some of her work is to me, its not like I knew her after all - but I wish I could put into words how I feel about her no longer being out there, writing new adventures and laughing at all of us serious fans thinking so hard about her words when we should simply get on with the business of enjoying them.And that's...what I'm going to do. She's left behind a huge body of work, a large amount of which I haven't read yet, so I'm going to reread all my old favorites (and hopefully some new).Another first reading, this one came out just before my absolute favorite, Dark Lord of Derkholm, and has Jones fresh off of her skewering of the genre in her Tough Guide. Coming right between two of her most funny and pitch-perfect works, this should have been a breeze to love, and I was right there at the alter too, until the bitter, bitter end.Because I was enjoying this immensely, sending up con-culture and mixing in a bit of magic much like Chrestomani's (but with a more modern feel) and characters that, if not exactly loveable, are interesting enough to spend time with.But her ending, it dragged on and on and on. It was like the Return of the King movie. A complete buzzkill because a long and important scene had to be retold because even though chronologically it was much earlier in the book, it didn't fit into her narrative conceit. So it just sat there on the end.It was so awkward, and the technology involved in the magic, even for 96-97, was pretty out of touch, which was just another distraction.I enjoyed the book very much, but do yourself a favor should you read this: skip the last section. Nothing there needed to be said.

  • Althea Ann
    2019-05-11 18:13

    This book is an absolute must-read for anyone who makes a habit of attending sci-fi conventions. Everyone else may find it entertaining enough, but it's really for con-goers.Rupert Venables is a magid - a member of a secret brotherhood of magicians assigned to to different worlds throughout the various planes of existence, who are supposed to keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately, his mentor has recently passed away (although he is still with Rupert in spirit, in an advisory sort of position), and it is now Rupert's job to find someone to step into the vacant position and start magical training. His mentor has given him a list of candidates from our Earth - people who may have some natural aptitude in that direction. Unfortunately, when Rupert starts investigating them, they all seem more hopeless than he could possibly imagine. The first candidate - a young woman that he has high hopes for (and some hopeful fantasies as well), disappoints him sorely when he finds her - and not only is she dumpy, plain and nerdy, but is holding up traffic to do a "witchy dance" in the middle of the road. The next candidates he tries to locate are even worse. Apparently people with such aptitudes also tend to be wack jobs, emotional cripples, or downright evil.Through a series of coincidences - and a little bit of magical help, Rupert gathers all of his candidates for easier examination at a science-fiction convention - but nothing goes as simply as he hopes, and things progress from bad to worse when the complex politics - including assassinations - of the other world he's assigned to start breaking through into this world - and soon there's a centaur running around the hotel, evil magicians wreaking havoc, and nothing is running smoothly at all.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-03 17:08

    rereading because dwj. i feel like each time i reread deep secret, i'm struck more and more by how different the times were (a lot of casually problematic? transphobic? language etc), and not in a good way. but i have great fondness for this book, if only because it is the prequel to the merlin conspiracyreading it in one go before bed gave me the most frightful nightmare about lactose intolerant zombie vampires that i and my co workers had to fight off with cheese sticks, salt, and apples

  • Stephen Theaker
    2019-05-03 13:44

    The novels of Diana Wynne Jones are a lot like Philip K Dick's in their rough treatment of reality, but where in his books reality tends to fracture and break, in hers it slowly frays and dissolves, almost without your noticing. You think you're standing on a nice cosy rug, but then find yourself falling through space wondering what the devil is going on. One colossal mistake which I've made from time to time is to put one of her books down and then pick it up again a few months later - something which always guarantees near instant befuddlement. This novel is putatively aimed at an adult readership, but is no great departure in style from her fiction for older teenage readers, such as the amazing Fire & Hemlock. That isn't a bad thing. The story is intriguing and full of surprises, and if you don't get absolutely all the answers on a plate at the end that is part of the fun.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-14 14:44

    This is a young adult fantasy novel which goes on the premise that the best place to consider candidates for a magically-important position may be a British science-fiction/fantasy convention. Unfortunately our hero, Rupert Venables (despite the old-fashioned name, he's 26 years old) is being distracted from this job by the hunt for the missing heir to an empire in another dimension. Jones leaves it to the reader to fill in much of the background to this story. This may either leave you feeling glad she didn't spoon-feed you everything, or frustrated if you think she didn't tell you enough. Be patient: most of it will come together by the end.

  • Katarina
    2019-04-22 18:48

    Diana Wynne Jones is a good read even on a bad day, and this book is one of her very best! It contains a Pride and Prejudice type of romance where we get to see the thoughts of each protagonist, a multiverse empire that's falling apart due to political scheming and assassinations, the search for a new "Magid" to control magic use on Earth, and a scifi/fantasy convention to round things up! At turns hilarious and dark, this is one of DWJ's most well-rounded novels and a must-read for anyone who's ever participated in a fannish event (or wish to do so).

  • Laura
    2019-05-06 17:56

    A very big book in not so many pages. All sorts of tropes of fantasy used in new ways, some, I suspect, deliberately drained of magic and made work-a-day. Heroic quests! Mystery heirs! Chosen ones! Bad sweaters! Scifi conventions! Guests who certainly were not Harlan Ellison, no sirree! Cosplay! Bad gods! I also suspect if I recognized more of the immediate sources, I would have found this book to be wonderful commentary. As it was, the pages turned, and I felt slightly like I was reading fanfic in a universe I hadn't absorbed the canon.

  • Nat
    2019-05-04 16:50

    I would have given this book four stars if it weren't for the rampant transmisogyny and fat phobia throughout. The shoehorned romance between two of the main characters and Jones' "tell not show" style, are no better. This book was marketed for adults, yet it seems like the worst part of juvenile writing. The story was mediocre at best.I'm actually quite surprised, since I've read many other of her books (Howl's Moving Castle, Castle in the Air, most of the Chrestomanci series, etc). Consider me a very disappointed reader.

  • Paul
    2019-04-26 16:55

    Review written: Sometime before April 16th 2015.Deep Secret by Diana Wynne JonesWhy I read it: My book club read it some time back.Rating: 3/5What I thought: I don't know? Certain elements of it were very good, definitely, but at the same time it got kinda tedious pretty often, and I'm struggling to even remember much about it. I'm planning on coming back to it someday though.