I’m splitting the wrap-up in two again to make it shorter! This is going to be the novellas I read last week, three of them! As always with these there is a video on my channel if you’d rather listen than read (Bonus! On the video for this particular part there are about three or four minutes at the end of pretty vacation vloggy shots), link is on the sidebar to the channel.
Starting off I read Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire. This one has been sitting around my house for a while, I keep ‘saving’ it and I finally cracked into it. Seanan McGuire has two modes of writing for me. She is either writing a first person urban fantasy type narrative or she’s writing a third person fairy tale type narrative. I read one of each of these on vacation, this being the first person urban fantasy type. This follows Jenna who is a ghost working a suicide prevention hotline. Jenna believes in giving back what she takes from the living as in this world ghosts do not age unless they take time lived from living individuals to reach their death day. This book looks (like a lot of Seanan’s recent work) at some heavier topics like suicide and the loss of life but also throws in a mystery for us as well. The ghosts in New York start to disappear and before too long it’s just Jenna and one other. For me this was really fun, it had some poignant moments and some scenes I loved but it wasn’t a complete knock your socks off kind of read. I do say read it if you like her work or want to try something that’s a stand-alone with examples of her unique and wonderful creativity (I love her witches more than anything).
I didn’t waste any time and jumped into another of her books, getting to Down Among the Sticks and Bones. This is the follow up to Every Heart a Doorway. This I may not talk about much, I think I’m going to do a full post/video comparing the two because for me the two are very different. This is a lot more fairy tale like than Every Heart. It also has some strengths where Every Heart was critiqued such as pacing and the crammed in mystery. It really also makes you love Jack more. She’s just perfect.
My last novella was The Refridgerator Monoglues by Catherynne M. Valente. This should have been a huge hit for me but unfortunately I think maybe this is a case of me being too familiar with the subject matter. This gives us the stories of women who have been fridged throughout comic book history. She creates these parallel characters (and it’s pretty obvious) for actual comic book characters and talks about how they’ve been killed or shunted off for no reason in this past. This is a real and common problem in comic books. Unfortunately I think maybe I’m a bit too familiar and wanted a little more in this. I wanted more of a conversation with how to fix this or a bit more of a ‘this could have been’ sort of thing. I also got a bit frustrated as one of these parallels (more than one honestly, but there was one in particular) that was out of date since things have been updated and changed. Just maybe not perfect for me sadly. I do recommend it however if you’re new to the topic or aren’t so familiar with these characters, it’s definitely a good conversation starter.
Has anyone read these? What do you think?