I have a bit of a fascination with death and the macabre. However, I wouldn’t call it an obsession. I don’t hunt it out and I only truly appreciate it when the information is… well, there. But there are some people who have this obsession, and then there’s the character in this short story who just goes beyond what I would call an obsession to a whole new, fascinating realm. Also slightly disturbed, but the writing is so good that I choose to find it fascinating.
This is kind of a strong story. It intertwines death, feminism and the choices we make in life. And it truly asks the question: what is right and what is wrong? Where are the shades of grey? Or in the case of this story, where are the shades of the Grey Ladies? After all, they haunt through this story in an eerily familiar way with each flick of a page.
I have a bit of an obsession with stories about death. Especially ones which personify the collectors of souls which are ready to pass on. There is just something about them that sits so… right with me. Which meant that from the beginning of this story, I was finding it thoroughly enjoyable. If not a little bit odd – after all, I normally tend towards the urban and paranormal fantasy retellings of death, not the horror ones…
This story had my heart racing. Something about the pace of it and the way in which it was written felt like an intense horror story. That, and the setting is based around a lake with overcast days… the perfect setting for a horror story and a horrific murder if I ever did hear one.
I really had no idea what to expect from this novel. I know that I love Isobelle Carmody’s writing, but this is the first truly young novel that I have read by her. It is also, weirdly enough, the first standalone story that I have read. And man, I wasn’t disappointed. This was one of those stories that left me thinking, contemplating and wondering long after I turned the final page. This is certainly one of those stories that lingers long after you finish, in the best way possible.
Death is always considered such a horrifying and exacting end. But, in the case of Mort, it’s really just a beginning… and an apprenticeship. With Pratchett’s unique and entertaining take on it.