Guest Post by Lilac Wolf
When Magaly asked me to review this, I wasn’t sure how I would fit it in. Then I read the first story and The New Death and others had me hooked, and I readily agreed. I highlighted so many quotes that gave me pause or made me chuckle… some did both. There was an underlying heaviness to every poem or story. Some subtle and others not so much; like the ones making commentary on the state of affairs of our society and the political system we currently support.
I especially loved the fast moving tales that took the tone of an ancient myth. Take the first tale, where James Hutchings tells the story of how the gods met to decide who took care of the different people and animals, and when it came time to decide on the poor...
“There was a long pause. The gods shuffled their feet and avoided one another’s gaze. At last a voice broke the silence. “I will,” said Death.”
I can’t possibly use all the passages that I highlighted. In “Everlasting Fire,” the author makes light of his use of puns… even saying he doesn’t do that anymore. But there follows plenty of stories where he goes hog-wild with them. He also has a thing for mimes. Mr. Hutchings is unafraid to use big words. And more than once I was happy my Nook has a built in dictionary. “Thaumaturge” was used a few times… and I had to look it up for each use.
I was a quarter of the way in before I realized this wasn’t a multiple author work. Bravo! The words danced through the pages. The humor was light and everything was fairly easy to take whilst being simultaneously intense. Nothing very gross or terrifying. But there were more than a few times where a story made me gasp in surprise at the ending or the terror and tragedy within the tale. Here’s a quote from a poem that left me weeping for the unloved child the narrator is.
“I ate your food and slept beneath your roof, that’s normal for a child.”
“The joking-but-not-joking way you said you couldn’t wait until I turned eighteen so you could pack my bags and then give me a bill has worn my gratitude away…”
But then he gets light again with a tale of cats attempting world domination:
“There was a great anger against cats. But then the cats did a cute look and mewed pathetically, so everyone forgave them.”
My favorite tale (mentioned earlier) is “Everlasting Fire”. It takes place in Hell where Lilly is a demon whose job is to set up ironic punishments for the dead. The author made up 2 new deadly sins, using puns and saying “LOL” aloud. I shake in terror at her punishment for critics… forced to review books from “The Library That Contains Nothing But Fan-Fiction.” I better start being a good girl. LOL—it’s typed, not a sin.
Lilac Wolf is a 30-something housewife and blogger trying to balance reading, kids, marriage and her craft. You can find her and more reviews like this one at Lilac Wolf and Stuff.
From the Wickedest Witch of the All – Thanks so much, Angie. You’ve spelled out all the reasons why I wanted you to review this book. I love the honesty of your voice, and the way you find the soul of the stories you read.
The New Death and others was a surprised to me, too. I didn’t know what to expect. After your review, I was sure Lilli’s tale would be my favorite as well. Seriously, the idea of a persnickety little demon punishing critics and people who massacre the language makes me crack up. Then I read the collection, and my gods! I was in love with everything.
My Wicked Luvs, this ebook is currently free, on Amazon. I urge you to download it right away, for I’m not sure how long its no cost status will last.
I’m adding the name of everyone who does the following to the “Being a Drake” contest at my writing site (The stories and poems are very short):
1. Leave a comment with your thoughts on this review.
2. Download The New Death and others, then add your favorite quote at the end of your comment (if you’ve already entered the “Being a Drake” contest, this will be an extra entry).
1. Be a Wicked Darling (follow Pagan Culture)
2. Blog about this entry, and leave a link to the post
3. Tweet about this entry, and leave a link to the tweet
4. Follow my writing site
5. Follow Lilac Wolf and Stuff
* This giveaway ends April 17th at 12:13pm EST.
** The lucky winner will be chosen via Randomizer. I’ll announce her or his name on April 19th at 12:13am EST. Great luck, my Luvs ;-)