This is my first collection of horror stories. Actually, it’s really my first ever horror novel. So reading this has been a very interesting journey. One that I was surprised to enjoy so much. And, although I didn’t really read any of these stories late at night, I also didn’t get any horrifying nightmares from the tales either. Unlike some of the crime, mystery and thriller novels that I’ve read.
The title of this story suggests that it’s going to be some kind of romantic tale. A story of love and passion in the midst of a war. And one that involves a thief. Well, only the thief part of this story is really correct. It was a pleasant surprise to have this tale unfold around me, with absolutely no idea of what to expect.
Everyone has their first moments of lust and obsession when they’re young. And there always seems to be one boy in the entire school that inspires this feeling more than any other. That one boy that makes every girls heart beat faster as she hopes that he’ll finally notice her. So it kind of makes sense that in a collection of romance and lustful stories, there is one that features this obsessive, adolescent lust and fascination.
This retelling of the Jack the Ripper case took a more conspiracy theory ridden outlook than many others that I’ve read. It played on the idea of racism and people in power carrying these ideals. It even outlaid a future plan for the Ripper until he is stopped. A greatly different point of view in fictional retellings of the notorious butcher that I have read so far.
I’ve always believed that in almost every meaningful interaction we have with people, we give them a small part of ourselves. That, if they are able, they in turn give something back to us. But what happens when the people we surround ourselves with just take, take, take? What happens when parts of you begin to disappear as people refuse to return your gifts?
Most of the time travel romances and books that I read tend to be about travelling back in time. Romanticising a past that we can’t truly fathom and removing aspects of history that just don’t quite fit with our ideal. This is the first of the time travel romances in which the time jump involves the future. Like a thousand years into the future.
I’m really glad that this story didn’t have a sad ending. I was fully expecting it to, after all, Sofia had already lost her husband, and she was incredibly close to losing her son to cancer. Although this tale is in a collection about tricksters, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have trickster tales that are sad. Rather than their usual witty, entertaining journeys.
I understand the pressure and stress of trying to get a ridiculously ambitious project done in a much shorter amount of time than desirable. After all, like the characters in this short story, I too am a PhD student. The fact that this tale of the pressures of being a postgrad student intertwines with murder, mayhem and magic just made me connect all the quicker with the characters and the storyline.
I don’t like reality tv shows. They’re contrived, annoying and highlight all of the worst aspects of humanity. Yet, I always seem to enjoy stories that take a paranormal spin on such things. A little like this. Alright, the majority of the story isn’t even a tv show, it’s about another matter entirely, but still… I loved the beginning.
I did enjoy this collection, but not as much as I had hoped. Probably because I bought this before reading Wuthering Heights. Which I then hated. So although this collection went a long way towards helping me to understand just why people love the classic so much. I still didn’t really love the obsessive, twisted romance that really features throughout all of these. The darkness that is completely overwhelming and more than a little difficult to understand.