Fluke, by Christopher Moore, caught me unaware.
I had just recently finished Lamb by Moore and was captivated by its slangy contemporary view of Jesus' life as a youth. It was a slightly irreverant view of a serious topic: how did Jesus become the man he was. Just how does one prepare himself to be the messiah?
So I dug into Fluke with a will in high expectations. Here was a scientific mystery story searching an honest biologic qauestion: Why do Blue whales sing? Their low pitched songs can be heard for an honest thousand underwater miles. The protagonists, Clay and Nate use their years of experience in ceteology and the best scientific methods to search for the answer. Fascinating study, no?
Then suddenly, 37.8% of the way through (I actually measured later) the genre flips, and it becomes a book of magic, with an approach that Harry Potter would understand. I threw the book down in disappointment.
Days later, I picked up the story again, accepting the fact that it was a fantasy. As a fantasy I slogged on to the finish.
As a fantasy it is so-so. However, it brought up some philosophical questions that I enjoyed exploring. It even inspired me to write a self-examination for my blog. It got me to wondering what my purpose in life is, in the fantasy I call my life. Clay and Nate solve the question of the Blue Whale song, and it leads them into a program to conserve the whales and help protect them from extinction.
At the conclusion of the narrative, Moore explains which parts of his tale are magic and which are science. Had I read this first I might have made the transition from one genre to the other easier. On the other hand, I probably would not have read the book at all.
If you like Magical tales and you like scientific discovery tales, and you like them mixed, it is Fluke, or I know why the winged whale sings by Christopher Moore, Perennial, a division of Harpers.