Friday, 28 October 2016
The Other World, It Whispers by Stephanie Victoire
review by Maryom
These nine short stories make a deliciously spine-tingling collection that treads that fine line between the real world and the ghostly, faery one.
A boy lets a silent girl into his house from the snow, hoping she will rescue him from his domineering mother; another is uncomfortable in his body and longs to change it, with the help of a little magic; a life-sized wooden sculpture of a man comes to life to commit a crime; in an 'alternative' version of Red Riding Hood, a young girl armed with an axe takes revenge on the predator stalking young girls in the forest; beautiful flowers hide a deadly secret; spirits journey on a train in the resting period before they're sent back to be born again and life another human life. Deals are made with gods, the fey queen, a witch and an old man who may actually be the devil - but you can't use magic to further your ends and ambitions without some sort of pay-back, and when revealed, will the cost be too high?
When it comes to scary reads, I'm always a fan of the subtly disquieting rather than over-stated horror, and of stories that, although they involve magic, still speak of very human feelings and failures - of love, revenge, fear or desire. These stories do just that. Some are downright creepy, others more like fairy-tales with a twist, but they all echo real emotions and situations. I loved them.
The writing too is wonderfully atmospheric, whether describing the gloom of forests, the lure of the sea or the sparkle and glitz of a masked ball the author makes the scene appear before the readers eyes.
Unfortunately, this collection isn't published till mid-November. Otherwise it would make an ideal read for Halloween when the veil between worlds is weak.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Salt Publishing
Genre - Adult fiction,short stories, ghosts, fairy tales, fantasy