Not sure why, but at the beginning of this story, I was kind of expecting a much more cheerful and happier outlook in this story. Maybe a bit of a rags to riches story. I was so incredibly wrong. This is a little bit dark, a little bit uncomfortable and a really enjoyable read.
This short story had a very dreamy, bittersweet feeling to it. Which makes sense, because it talks about an artist and is loosely based around Sleeping Beauty. Both topics and things which tend to bring up a quite melancholy feel. Or at least, that’s how I personally find these types of stories.
I liked Brax in Have Mercy. I didn’t really like him in Total Control. At least not until I got about halfway through the story and he stopped being a controlling prick and started being a caring man. Then I felt a little less like reaching into the pages of the book and punching him in the throat. He suddenly became far more human and much less of an insane, sex-fiend control freak. More like what he was in Have Mercy.
I don’t normally like stories that use pregnancies as a reason to commit to one another, get married and have your happily ever after. Normally. But I actually really enjoyed this novella. It did use pregnancy as the point of conflict, but it was also about establishing and altering the relationship between the two primaries, rather than just two people who happened to be forced together.
This was such a fun, easy and sweet novel. It would have been amazingly easy to just read it cover to cover in one small afternoon, with a big smile on my face (the only reason this didn’t happen is because I haven’t sat still for an entire afternoon in a little while). India Opal, Winn-Dixie and the Preacher are a great little family that so obviously needs help. Actually, the whole rag tag bunch of characters that make up this story need a bit of a helping hand. And I love that this comes in the form of a slightly unorthodox and scraggly dog.
This final story in the Black Feathers collection gave me a very uncomfortable feeling. It was a good story to end on, but it was definitely one that made me seriously uncomfortable. It had that open-ended finale that makes you think that the spawn of crows will continue off into the sunset without anyone to stop them.
I’m really not sure why this is in a collection of stories based on Wuthering Heights. It’s a great short story, don’t get me wrong, but I’m struggling to make that connection to the gothic classic that I’ve been able to make with most of the other stories in this series. Amulet and Feathers had a great sense of dignity and an incredibly fun storyline to it.
We all like to think that family means everything. That there is some kind of tie created by blood that can be impossible to escape. Speaking from my own experiences, that’s not necessarily true. And this story definitely echoes that theory.
It took me a little while to grasp the concept of what was going on in this short story. The storyline jumped around a little and it was kind of hard to realise which time frame you were in from the outset… but, once I got my head around that little aspect, I fell in love with this story. It still had the war aspect of Dieselpunk filling its pages, but it mostly had this sweet idea of family and kinship.
I can’t believe it took me THIS LONG to pull this book off my shelf and read it. It was just amazing!! And rave worthy. And completely, completely world-shatteringly good. The only reason that I didn’t read it in one sitting is because I got about 60 pages in and stopped. I had work that I had to do, and I knew if I didn’t stop then, I never would. Five days later I blocked aside almost a whole day so that I could forget about the world and just enjoy the amazing journey that Miller was able to take me on.