I remember the story of the goose girl from my recent reading of Grimm fairy tales. But, it took me a little while to connect that storyline with Hoffman’s Rags and Riches. I just thought that this was a story that halfway explains the cruelty of a maid. It wasn’t until the end that I recognised her punishment and the actual storyline.
I read Christmas Heat in a Christmas anthology not long before I started the Shifter anthology. When I realised that there was another Breeds story in it, I raced through the pages until I could sink my teeth into another of these stories. I have ordered the first few novels in the series… but I haven’t received them, so I was at a point that I’d do almost anything for my fix.
This story just reaches a whole new level of weird and creepy. I was expecting a good, funny, humorous haunting story from the beginning. It didn’t turn out that way. It was all fun and games and whirlies… until it wasn’t. Then it was sick and twisted and disturbed. And not in that fun, make you think kind of way… in that… what did I just read kind of way.
I’m already obsessed with this new series. I was kind of obsessed within the first chapter – there was something both sensual and innocent about the storyline. I also loved the fact that although Emma feels that she is a ruined woman (a complete strong and powerful product of the times), she still manages to find a way to stand on her own two feet. She refuses to settle for the second best that is forced upon her, but rather, decides to build her own life anew. Or at least try to. As with every other story, her best laid plans quickly go awry.
The notion of dream crowns and the ways in which these can work was completely foreign to me. I loved the idea of layer upon layer of intricate memory and thoughts. The way that emotions are literally carved into stone to give a beautiful and long-lasting way to live in one’s own happiness. And I also loved the way in which this dreamscape is layered upon a questing desire and an LGBTQI desire.
Although there is still an epic battle with vampires to complete this story (like the first two novels in this series), most of the story doesn’t actually involve an arch nemesis or vampires in any significant way. It is about the internal battle and war that Justice must fight with himself to survive and become whole again. And I really enjoyed this change of pace. I tend to find I jump from series to series because there becomes a certain same-same in the battles that the characters are fighting, by having an internal demon as opposed to an external, Day was able to mix it up enough that I don’t yet want to put this series down in preference for another (I’ve had to because I haven’t received Atlantis Unmasked yet, but I digress…)
I love the setting of Christmas against a zombie apocalypse (or at least, that’s what the setting seemed to be to me)…
I felt like this short story was a kind of prequel to the rivalry that seems to feature throughout many of the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland retellings. At a young age, sisters Lily-White and Ruby-Red already have an intense rivalry. And although they get along famously within this story, there are the seeds of discord in all of their interactions… and on completing this story, there was kind of an uncomfortable feeling that lingered, making you think of the future of the two queens…
I’m getting towards the end of a very big collection of vampire romance stories. And once you’ve read a heap of stories with the same themes it can become a little… repetitive. However, The Sacrifice had a completely different feel to it. And it was honestly enough to make me feel refreshed towards the entire anthology.
I actually read this twice before writing this review, each reading about a week apart. I loved it when I first read it, but there was something haunting in the refrain, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Almost like it haunted my dreams as in the story. So I read it again, which helped to dispel that lingering feeling of haunting and confusion that was lingering around.