This is a seriously diverse collection of urban fantasy short stories. Not to mention fun and engaging. Probably moving right to the top of my list if I’m being honest. Normally my purview of urban fantasy is kind of small. But the breadth and width of these stories and the style in which they’re written… just wow.
This collection took a long time to read. Yet, I absolutely adored it. Mostly it took a while to read because there were so many short stories filling the pages, and whenever I finished one, I often went searching for more stories by the authors I was discovering. My wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds since starting this collection.
It took me a little while to understand what was happening in this story. Mostly because it’s a short story in a collection of urban fantasy tales, and it didn’t quite seem like a fantasy until about three quarters of the way through. And then I started to really pick up on the nuances and quiet storylines that I’m beginning to recognise in Richard Bowes’ short stories. It was at this point that I decided I really wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again with more awareness.
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.
I began my obsession with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in childhood, but kind of forgot about it until the last year – when I finally got around to reading the original story! And then my obsession began to take a bit of a turn for the… well, obsessive… so I bought this collection as soon as I found it. And opened the page within days of receiving it.
The mirror of folklore by using the idea of three aspects, or parts, of the trickster worked really well in this story. Part one tells the story of a young lady beseeching help from the trickster. Part two provides a little more of a mid-life crisis and lets you question the role of the trickster in the beginnings of the modern world. And, finally, part three highlights the end of an era, and the start of a new one. One in which the Trickster will either adapt and change or drown in the new world.
The flickering between real world observations of the hawks and the dreamscape that the lead character finds himself in creates an incredibly spine tingling (and somewhat confusing) dreamscape across this storyline. It makes feelings of horror and goosebumps come to the forefront as the storyline unfolds. And leaves a feeling of uncanny confusion and, even slight obsession when you turn the last page.