Smithfield by James P. Blaylock

Image result for queen victoria's book of spells ellen datlow book cover

Title: Smithfield
Author: James P. Blaylock
In: Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Gaslamp
Dates read: 5th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tor
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The moon had climbed higher into the sky now and shone on the cobbles in the street.

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It’s the turn of the century and things are beginning to change. Will they be able to catch this through the lens of a camera?


This was a really fun, easy read. But it wasn’t one that I really got into. I very quickly skimmed through it, and although it was enjoyable, it wasn’t memorable. The writing was really good though which is probably why I did enjoy it as much as I did… it was well written, fun, but just not enough to keep my easily distractible self paying attention…

I really liked the turn of the century feel to this story. The use of cameras and gas lighting throughout was very atmospheric and helped to pull along the fantastical elements of the story. It left you with a feeling of mystery and wonder when you finally turned that last page – not quite sure what happened, but certain that you enjoyed it.

Smithfield is one of those short stories that I’ll probably read again in the future. Just because that lingering feeling of wonder and mystery is still hanging around over 24 hours after I turned that final page. It is the type of story that will keep on feeding on itself and I’m sure that I’ll find something new to love each and every time I read it…

 <- The Governess ReviewThe Unwanted Women of Surrey Review ->
Image source: Amazon

3 thoughts on “Smithfield by James P. Blaylock

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