‘What Moves the Dead’ a Creepy Gothic Horror

The Twisted Ones, T. Kingfisher‘s take on Arthur Machen’s short story The White People, has still left me, three years after reading it, uneasy around dolls and deer skeletons (which, to be fair, I encounter more often than the average person). The picture on the cover of What Moves the Dead was of a mangled-ish rabbit andContinue reading “‘What Moves the Dead’ a Creepy Gothic Horror”

‘Crane Wife’ Questions Identity, Relationships

No close relationship is totally straightforward; that’s impossible whenever two people entwine themselves around each other for whatever purpose. But romantic relationships, and the relationships we have with ourselves as beings who may get into romantic relationships, are fraught with all manner of expectations and suppositions—often implicit and inherited from our families and/or the societyContinue reading “‘Crane Wife’ Questions Identity, Relationships”

‘Thistlefoot’ Brings Extra Emotion to Folktales

Home is where the heart is. In the case of GennaRose Nethercott’s debut novel, Thistlefoot, home can be wherever home chooses to go. And along being the resting place for the heart, home is also where generational trauma from an entire community comes to roost. The Yaga siblings were once close. Helping their parents runContinue reading “‘Thistlefoot’ Brings Extra Emotion to Folktales”

‘Signal to Noise’ Full of Spellbinding Nostalgia

Way back in my childhood days, the 80s had passed recently enough that nothing about them was cool. The 70s, sure, but the 80s? As if. Time has a way of making old things new again, though, as evidenced by the Stranger Things kids and all the other 80s properties stirring up nostalgia and retroContinue reading “‘Signal to Noise’ Full of Spellbinding Nostalgia”

‘Sea of Tranquility’ Dizzying and Beautiful

I’ve heard raves about Station Eleven for years, as well as, more recently, The Glass Hotel. But my first attempt into Station Eleven didn’t get me far so I just assumed Emily St. John Mandel wasn’t a writer for me. I’m not sure how to quantify how wrong I was. Because within pages of Mandel’sContinue reading “‘Sea of Tranquility’ Dizzying and Beautiful”

‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes

There’s been no shortage of fairy tale retellings or mythology reinterpreted lately. Alix E. Harrow‘s A Spindle Splintered is proof positive that another addition to a well-populated genre can still be done uniquely and oh-so-effectively. Zinnia Gray is doomed to die. She’s one of the last surviving members of an unfortunate club of kids whoContinue reading “‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes”

‘Body’ Examines Many Facets of Race, Family

Race, as some say, is only skin deep—beneath different colored skin, we’re really all alike. And that’s true, to an extent. By and large, I think we can agree that gas prices are too high, cat videos are the heart and soul of the internet, and Kate Bush has quite the banger. Beneath the superficialityContinue reading “‘Body’ Examines Many Facets of Race, Family”

‘Tomorrow’ A Video-Game Tale Rooted in Reality

The tension of “will they or won’t they” has done a lot of heavy lifting for stories through the ages, including many that wouldn’t have been nearly as intriguing otherwise. In the case of Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, that question is a touchpoint throughout the years for its characters, but the answer isContinue reading “‘Tomorrow’ A Video-Game Tale Rooted in Reality”

‘Survivor Song’ a Prescient Tale

I had to stop multiple times while reading Paul Tremblay’s Survivor Song to check whether it had been written before or during the pandemic. And then check again, and again, because the way his fictional society reacted to his fictional outbreak felt far too close to reality circa March-April 2020. But Survivor Song was publishedContinue reading “‘Survivor Song’ a Prescient Tale”

Barker’s ‘Women’ is a Dazzling Return to Troy

Thousands of years after the fall of Troy and long after the Greek gods’ influence faded, the stories and myths from that golden era still persist. Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls revisiting of that era by unspooling a single mention of a Trojan woman, Briseis, who was given as a token in aContinue reading “Barker’s ‘Women’ is a Dazzling Return to Troy”