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Smoke and Mirrors
By Tanya Huff

Discussed October 2006

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"Tony Foster" novels
Smoke and Shadows (2004)
Smoke and Mirrors (2005)
Smoke and Ashes (2006)

  1. This is the second "Tony Foster" novel that's been discussed by the LSF Book Discussion Group. (The first novel in this series, Smoke and Shadows, was the discussion topic for September 2005.) If you've read Smoke and Shadows, how do you think Smoke and Mirrors compares with it? Better? Worse? Have you noticed any changes in style, characters, etc.?
  2. In Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare posed the question: "What's in a name?" If you had to categorize this book for someone, how would you label it? Here are some possibilities: "romantic fantasy," "contemporary urban fantasy," "dark fantasy" or "horror." Which (if any) of them would you choose? Why?
  3. Smoke and Mirrors features a haunted house. How does this book compare with other "haunted house" stories you've read or seen? (Examples: Robert Wise's 1963 film version of The Haunting - based on Shirley Jackson's original 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House.) Points to consider: how Ms. Huff handles the ghosts and their "cyclical re-enactments;" "the thing in the cellar" and its effect on the story; the overall feeling of tension and/or horror; Tony's ability to see & interact with ghosts; other people's reactions to the ghosts; the murders (and attempted murders) of the people in the house, etc.
  4. One reviewer says: "Huff plays with stereotypes..." and has "the ability to stand outside of them and make us look at them in new ways." What's your opinion of this statement, specifically as related to the characters in this novel? For example: Chester Bane (the producer of the Darkest Night TV series), Bane's bratty daughters, Mason Reed (star of Darkest Night), Lee Nicholas (co-star of Darkest Night, Tony's love interest), etc.
  5. GLBT content: What's your opinion of how Ms. Huff handles Tony's emotions, sensibilities, etc.? How about how she handles those of other GLBT (and possibly GLBT) characters?
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