Elliott Bay Book Company Capitol Hill
Wed Feb 13, 2019, 7 pm
Recommended by Rich Smith
Apollo cursed Cassandra with the ability to accurately foretell the future but have no one believe her. Spokane-based speculative fiction writer Sharma Shields, author of The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac (which was great), afflicts her protagonist in The Cassandra with the titular character's curse. But instead of foreseeing the destruction of Troy, she foresees a much larger catastrophe. Shields sets her riff on this Greek myth at the Hanford Research Center in South Central Washington during the early days of World War II. While the young woman at the center of the story, Mildred, is happy to be living on her own in a new place, she's not so happy to be dreaming about the destructive capacity of a secret weapon being developed right under her nose, and she's less than thrilled about all the causal workplace harassment she's been enduring from coworkers. Reviews of the book look generally positive. One Amazon reviewer called it "fascinating if not pleasant," which is maybe my favorite description of novels in general.