Miguel is a senior in high school, and life seems pretty normal, pretty predictable. He goes to school, helps his dad in his music store, hangs out with his friends. It doesn't seem like anything will ever change - until the day Lainey walks into the store, accompanied by her enormous dog. There's something about her, something that makes the whole rest of the world pale in comparison, and when strange things start to happen, he is able, more or less, to take them in stride, because of Lainey, how he feels about her, how she seems to feel about him.
There is certainly more to Lainey than meets the eye, strange things, mysterious things - and, it turns out, a sort of ancestral curse. Miguel finds himself in the company of Johnny Ward, a violent teen from his school that he'd had a few run-ins with in the past. Johnny is needed to help break the curse, but even though Miguel sees there's more to him than he'd imagined, he is certainly not to be trusted. Events carry them to a world before time, to the spiritland of the ancient Australian deities, to the place where a very powerful being awaits them...
I enjoyed this YA novel, as I do all of Charles de Lint's books. I love the way he weaves mythology with contemporary life, the magical with the commonplace. This one was fairly simple by his standards, a straightforward telling with few surprises for the careful reader, yet with characters to care about, and the marvellous sense of wonder that is always present in de Lint's work.
Dingo by Charles de Lint (Firebird, 2008)
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