This is my first ever dieselpunk story. And it was a really good, fun introduction to the subgenre. This was kind of funny, very fast-paced and had a slightly pragmatic love story throughout. Alright, it’s not the kind of romance that will make you clutch your chest and sigh, but it is one that makes you have a little giggle and grin at the end.
This is a bit of a jumpy short story. Which is pretty typical for a tale from Mad Hatters and March Hares if I’m being truly honest with myself. But, it felt kind of jumpier and more confusing than some of the other stories that I had read. Not to say that it was bad… but it did take me a little more to understand what I was reading than usual. I actually read through this twice… just because there was not one, but two different storylines to try and get my damn head around.
The introduction to this short story tells you that you are going to recognise the fairy tale upon which it is based at the end of the tale. And, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure that I was going to recognise it. there just seemed to be nothing recognisable in it. Until the last two pages… then I finally understood exactly which fairy tale this was. And I loved it.
We all know the feeling of not belonging. Of being a fish out of water, so to say. Sadly, not many of us necessarily know how to get rid of this feeling. And, sometimes when people are teenagers, they never move beyond this. Which is all the kinds of feelings that this short story reminded me of. The feeling of not belonging and loss. And, quite honestly, the suicide forest that I’ve heard of in Japan. It just had that beautifully and tragically eerie feeling to the tale that I just didn’t quite know what to do with.
I think if you talk to most people, you will find that cancer has impacted on them in some way, shape or form. Which means that there tends to be a whole heap of stories out there that feature cancer. What I wasn’t expecting was to find such a story in a collection of vampire romance tales… that kind of took me by surprise. In the best way possible.
This is probably my least favourite of the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s still really good, but it just doesn’t have the same adventure spirit and oomph as the other tales. Maybe it’s because the Pensieve children don’t feature in this story at all. They are completely out of the picture, and I really missed them. After all, they are the children that made me fall in love with this series in the first place.
It doesn’t matter how many times I read this story, I still love it. And my heart melts. And I get all gooey and happy on the inside. It really doesn’t matter how many times I read this, it is just as wonderful and amazing as the first time I read it when I was six years old.
I kind of found it fitting that The Mammoth Book of Steampunk ended with a story called The Last Ballad. And that it talked about epic adventures by two best friends (who happen to be a dog and a spider) as they sail off into the sunset. An incredibly fitting ending to a very intense collection of stories.
I loved the idea of a Mary Ann in the Alice world. This idea that every young girl who enters the world of Wonderland is a Mary Ann or an Alice and that there are defining moments which classify them as one or the other. It gives a great alternate point of view to the world which is a little less rushed and insane, and a little calmer and more deeply thought out.
This short story really made me decide to pick up my book on The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper. It had this beautiful complexity and background to the storyline that I wasn’t expecting. There was also a lot of information and context in it that completely went over my head because I really don’t know all that much about Jack the Ripper.