C.S. Boyack. It's quite hard to categorize, with elements of speculative fiction/fantasy, a little dash of noir, and some chick-lit thrown into the mix.
I'm truly not a book snob and I do make an effort to read and review smaller self published books. I'm so glad this one caught my attention. It's a joy for me to be able to give a good review for books which don't fit the mold and aren't mammoth-juggernaut-publishing-wonders™ with gazillion dollar budgets.
After a poke around his blog and having read this novella, I can say with certainty that the author is a gifted and creative storyteller with a sure voice. Most of the characters are well written and the dialogue and plotting are entertainingly readable. One big thing that struck me whilst reading The Hat was how consistently funny it was. Humor is so variable and so difficult to write. This book is really really funny in a lot of places. I was also struck by how sure the author's voice was when writing the female protagonist. She is believable.
There were a few less than stellar moments. Her interaction with her uncle was flat and seemed like exactly what it was (a plot device to get The Hat into her possession). A lot of her interaction with the bad guys was over the top, but then again, she's teamed up with a sentient inanimate object, so the author is owed a lot of suspension of disbelief wiggle room.
Just an all around fun read. It's a couple of hours' diversion and entertainment. I, for one, would love to read more adventures from Lizzie and co. Intergalactic do-goodery with a rockabilly soundtrack?! Count me in!
Four and a half stars, beautifully written and funny.
Disclosure: I received an electronic-ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.