** spoiler alert ** Okay so all in all this was an interesting read. I actually started it because on our way back from Cedar City and the Shakespearean Festival my boyfriend
There were stories I liked, ones I didn’t care for and ones I was all, “eh.” The biggest issue I had was that a lot of the stories ended either a) abruptly (I don’t know if the author was trying for scary or what, this was mostly a FAIL) or b) just when things got really good.
A lot of the stories felt like when I was 16 and was on a HUGE writing kick. I must have started thirty stories but only finished 15 of them because I got tired of the characters or bored with the plot line, sometimes I just was unsure how to wrap things up. I, basically, think that Kelly Link suffered from this sort of problem. But then she went HEY! Great idea! I will just put them all in a short story collection and people will think they are brilliant! *muuuuaaaahhhha rubs hands together evilly*
Now the writing I found to be pretty amazing and her descriptions were awesome too. The problem with too many descriptions is that there are too many words and sometimes this is confusing rather than fun. Each story felt quirky and in some places that was great, in others it just added to the confusion and complicated the story.
Let us go on to the individual story critiques.
1) The Wrong Grave An interesting story about a boy who digs up his dead girl friend to get his poetry back. When he opens the grave it’s not his girlfriend and she is wide awake and wants to join him on adventures with her ink colored evil crazy hair. It was told from the point of view of someone who knew the MC. This was clever, funny, dark and creative.
2) The Wizards of Perfil honestly I didn’t finish this one cause it bored the crap out of me. It was about two kids who are mentally linked and can see the future and one gets sold to live with the Wizard of Perfil and be a serving girl. There was also something about a train explosion, but like I said…snnooooozzzzeee.
3) Magic for Beginners Okay I was torn on this one. I wasn’t really sure what it was about, it jumped around and was seriously crazy with way to many random descriptions and facts. Basically it’s about the son of a horror author whose favorite TV show is called the The Library and all kinds of crazy stuff happens there. Then his mom inherits a wedding chapel in Vegas and he gets a phone booth. They got to Vegas (
) The Faery Hand Bag Ok this one was brilliant! It was beautiful and colorful and made my mouth water, it was by far my favorite. About an old lady that carries a whole world inside her handbag and hijinks ensue.
5) The Specialist Hat This one is about two little girls who move into a big house with their father after their mother dies. They get a dead babysitter who kills them as well and ends with their father freaking out because he cannot find them. This was really good, but it made my own mommy heart ache.
6) Monster Ummm this one was just kind of stupid. I was bored, but thankfully it was short so I didn’t have to leave and skip it. Plot was simple, boys go camping to see monster, monster eats boys. The End
7) The Surfer Which is just about the lamest title for this story. A boy is forced to go to Costa Rica where his father wants them to join a cult or commune with this guy who saw it when the aliens landed. They wind up in quarantine for a few weeks because a nasty flu is going around killing everyone. In the end they get to see aliens and the story is cut off right when the aliens get there, the reader is left to wonder about…well a lot? When the story starts you are thrown into the middle of a crumbling USA kind of dystopia but with no explanation of why the world is the way it is. No explanation to why versions of the flu are killing everyone and why suddenly Costa Rica is where it is at.
8) The Constable of Abal This one I was a little torn on. A girl and her mother collect ghosts, then the girl’s mother; Zilla kills a constable and they run away. The little girl Ozma keep his ghost in her pocket and feeds him blood. They finally get to another town, her mother becomes a cook and makes Ozma dress like a boy. Ozma hates it she wants to go back to ghost keeping and thieving, blackmailing, all the things they did before. Finally we discover Zilla is a death goddess who returns to wherever Gods go. The constable is given new life, after drinking Ozma’s blood and eating magical fruit, and falls in love with Ozma and they live happily ever after.
9) Pretty Monsters Yeah so this one I cant even tell you what it was really about because I was so damn BORED that I skimmed it, skipped through and then moved on to the next one. Something about a sleepwalking girl who falls in love with an older boy and some girl who has to be home each night for dinner and along the way werewolves.
10) The Cinderella Game yeah what was the POINT to this story? An evil step sister and a boy playing Cinderella…. There was blood and mischief and was basically forgettable
So like most anthologies it was pretty hit or miss. Oh well, onto the next!