The New Death and others

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).

Extra Entries:
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
* 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 ;-) 

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17 comments:

  1. Loved Angie's review, like you said refreshing and open :D Followed your link to Amazon and they have a free app to download books for Kindle onto your pc!!! Took seconds to set up and gave me 3 freebie classics :D Had to buy book as it isn't free on UK site, but I can cope with 77p(I think that's about 50c). Will enjoy reading it at my leisure :D XXX

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    1. You know, I'm so surprised that so many people don't know about the free applications from Kindle and Nook. I am going to blog about it after the party. We all need to get our reading on!

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  2. Do I get an extra entry for having written this review? ;) Thanks Magaly, I feel honored to have been asked and to see it here in print. Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday!

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    1. Ha! It sounds very reasonable to me.

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  3. And I'm a wicked Darling and Tweeted - here

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  4. Her review was fantastic...so refreshing!!
    Hugging you
    SueAnn

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  5. OOoooh! I can't wait to read that one! I ordered it, but I will ahve to wait to read it until I get my Kindle back out of pawn. Lol Being poor is AWESOME! Hahaha.

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    1. You can download the free computer application, if you can't wait ;-)

      The stories are short enough that reading online doesn't tire your eyes so much (okay, the eye thing is all me lol)

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    2. Not just you - I hate reading online for extended periods. I wouldn't be able to do most of my indie reviews if I didn't have my e-readers.

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  6. Like Lilac Wolf, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find time when I was asked to review the book back in February. The same thing happened to me though; I started reading it and was hooked. You can see my review (which contains my favourite part of my favourite story) here: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/new-death-and-others.html

    As for my thoughts on this review; I thought it was a fantastic review, and had I not already read the book, I would be clicking the link to buy it! Great choices for the quotes to use in the review! :)

    Oh, and I'm a wicked darling, and a writing site follower. :)

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    1. I'm all about great lines and quotes, I just like them. So I, too, would have read the book just to find more quotes like this one ;-)

      Now to read yours!

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  7. I always love Angie's fresh voice and sincere depth to her reviews. I feel as if I am sitting across the table with her over a cup of hot Chai tea engrossed in her words.

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  8. I have downloaded this book - how wonderful that it is currently free, and have been a follower of Lilac Wolf and Stuff for some time. Hugs!

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