Author: Marina Dyachenko
Title: Vita Nostra
Series: Metamorphozi 1
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads
How does one describe a thing, a story as colossal as Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko? I said this before, and I will say this again, Slavs write very different fantasy, very big, very wast, very… It’s a lot, and it’s amazing.
About the Book: Sasha’s normal life ended that faithful summer when a strange man scared her near to death. Then sort of gave her a quest, a mission. Series of motions to perform every morning at the risk of great tragedies where she to refuse. So the girl obeyed, and every day performing – punctuated the strangeness by vomiting up a few gold coins. By the end of this ordeal she was accepted into an institute for Special Technologies, as they put it, as the strange man has put it, where professors as strange as he, as inhuman as he, teach them the oddest damn things, all the while repeating them: no one’s asking for impossible here. But is it not impossible to absorb and understand silence, differentiate between it? Is it not impossible to perceive meaning in language you never even seen, symbols you couldn’t even imagine? Is it not impossible to shed the limitations of your body, the limits of two legs, two arms? They’re all trying, of course, doing their best. For this world here, this middle-of-nowhere is ruled by fear, the same one Sasha felt that summer. To disobey, to do what you weren’t told to do, to do something you were forbidden to do, to fail, to be unprepared, all that meant bad news coming: illness, injury, misfortune, death even, among those you held dearest, you loved most. And children learned to blame themselves for it, and thus try harder very, very soon. So, it seems like Sasha’s normal life never even existed. For, what is normal in the Universe that was born out of a spark, a word, a thought, a meaning?
My Opinion: I have no clue how to describe, how to review this book. It was big, it was amazing, it was unbelievable and like nothing I ever read before. Written so well, so right, with a story so rich it becomes impossible to put it to words, these simple human words.
It’s a great book, definitely not for everyone, but a great book nonetheless. If you liked stuff by Pelevin or Max Fray, you might enjoy this one too, it’s a similar kind of mind boggling out-of-your-mind experience. A firm 5 out of 5 from me.