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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 8 star ratings
3 reviews

Overall rating

3.8 out of 5
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  • 6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    A Pleasant Surprise

    Despite the number of awards he has won and how prolific he is, I had never heard of Smith until I came across this collection in a Kobo sale. I'm generally not a fan of the short story genre. To be sure, there are many superb writers who enrich the format greatly. But far too often, under unskilled hands, the reader is left wanting. Too much is left unexplained, the worlds within are too shallow, the characters too limited and unrealized to be understood. I took a big chance on an unfamiliar author in a challenging format and walked away very satisfied. There is a broad range of subject matter from the supernatural to horror, dystopianism and future colonialism. A rich undercurrent or unifying theme to this collection is love. How it saves us, binds us, teaches us to forgive. Many of these stories are dark but the reader is not left without hope. The worlds within these stories are richly built and the inhabitants within them blend seamlessly into their environments - they are indeed creatures who would live there. I highly recommend this read and will visit this author again.
  • 4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    Overall enjoyed reading the stories. Really well written & descriptive.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    I don’t mind saying it - I found this book hilariously offensive. Every single story, and there are many, was deeply heteronomative, often involved needless sex or sexual relations, and women exist primarily for the men around them. The history and mythology are downright terrible, and in some cases provably wrong. “The Red Bird” is little more than an experiment in Orientalism, not that the Norse get treated much better. As for “Symphony,” well - apparently, even a future with faster-than-light technology, autistic children will still be seen as a burden their mothers will try to kill. Finally, as a minor point, some stories are so bogged down with jargon they become almost unreadable. I don’t recommend this book at all.

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