LITTLE SIBERIA | Antti Tuomainen
10.17.2019 | Orenda Books
Rating: 4/5 stars
A former rally car driver finds himself racing along a snowy road in Hurmevaara, Finland. Intoxicated many drinks above the legal limit this man cannot be sure if the flash in the sky is real or in his imagination until a meteorite comes crashing through his car.
Local priest, Joel, finds himself working his alternate job as a guard for the museum where the meteorite is being held. The same meteorite that crashed through a car. The same meteorite that has been appraised at a million euros. Joel has other things on his mind, namely his wife’s pregnancy, when he is faced with a team of burglars breaking into the museum and failing, not once, but repeatedly to steal the meteorite. Can Joel keep this precious gift from the sky safe?
We carry ourselves wherever we go, and wherever we end up we carry our deeds – and the consequences of those deeds.
I was first introduced to Antti Tuomainen when I picked up his earlier book, PALM BEACH, FINLAND. I instantly fell in love with Tuomainen’s unique dark comedy blended with crime fiction style of writing. When I heard the premise of LITTLE SIBERIA surrounding several botched burglaries in a small Finland town, I knew I was in for another display of this perfect literary mixture! LITTLE SIBERIA packs all of the hallmarks of Tuomainen’s writing that I loved previously and adds in a dose of philosophical elements to get the reader thinking.
LITTLE SIBERIA drops the reader straight into an action-packed story with a high-speed car ride. One that ultimately, as promised in the synopsis, ends with a meteorite landing in the passenger seat. Instead of focusing on this troubled rally car driver, Tuomainen changes the spotlight of his story to Joel. These two characters seem on the surface level to be opposites, as they come from vastly different backgrounds, but as the plot progresses you learn that they have something in common, as well as harnessing a similar feeling of being lost within their communities.
There are some explosions that leave physical traces, and there are explosions that other people cannot see.
Joel’s struggles not only with his faith and how he mentors those who come to see him for guidance, but also with trusting those closest to him. The best part of Joel serving as the narrator for this story is that these struggles make him incredibly relatable for the reader. While Joel may make a series of interesting and sometimes poor choices, he never once stops being someone the reader can sympathize with. Despite cringeworthy decisions, the reader can always see the reason behind whatever action Joel takes. The same can be said for several other characters on a more minor scale throughout the book.
Tuomainen smartly balances Joel’s more serious, introspective moments with his delightful brand of dark humor. Much like Joel, those living in the village of Hurmevaara are ordinary people. They have all been affected by the extraordinary event of a meteorite hitting their town and their reactions are quite interesting! These are normal people contemplating burglary. What more do I need to tell you to hint that things won’t go smoothly? LITTLE SIBERIA is the perfect blend of dark humor, crime fiction, and a philosophical vein that will keep the reader in stitches and deep thought. If you’re looking to be entertained and stretch your brain, this is the book for you!
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Disclosure: A huge thank you to Orenda Books for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
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