What I most admire about Peter Huby's Pasiphae is the sense one gets of choice happening. Huby has chosen an expansive subject, one that is historically, mythically, culturally overloaded. He must have been contending with an amount of source material that could easily have overwhelmed. Even an excess of enthusiasm for his story-normally an author's friend-could have been dangerous under these conditions. Huby picks his way very carefully. Which is not to say over-cautiously. His choices seem guided more by a strong vision, a kind of trusty instinct or strange divining rod, than by laboured circumspection or excess systematicity. The evidence lies in the rhythm of the chapters: short (2-3 pages), neat, ebbing little tides: they wash in and slide out, shifting the sands of the story, washing up new characters, new ideas, stealing away others. Each chapter presents us with a single intense picture. The pictures move, but they move like the images in a flipbook move, they deliver us of compact motions, the stripped verb. But the real magic, I think, lies in the spaces between the chapters, because it is there that the story gets built. Because the chapters do add up, but it's an odd calculus. Threads of the story are insinuated, are strongly there as they dance and weave. They come alive in the between-times, seem to jump to life, are thrown shadowy and flickering on the wall. The sleight of hand, then, must have occurred in the quality of the choices Huby makes within his chapters: the moments of decision he presents, his character's smaller habits, the moments that test them, the stuff that's there to be read. The tight staccato prose, the economy of the story (both of which are mentioned by other reviewers), are outward manifestations of these canny choices. One consumes the story greedily, and can marvel at the book's dazzling mechanisms, Daedalus' own sorcerer at work.