Hello reader. I was really hoping to knock your socks off with an over the top Week in Review to take our collective minds off the news. However, the news is pretty much all I have been reading in the last week and none of it was good. I did find some time for a couple of short stories. So this week this WIR is going to be short and sweet.
Seanan McGuire is back with this poignant short story (or maybe it was a novella?) of Jenna, the girl who died before her time. Jenna life was cut too short when she died not long after her sister Patty. Jenna is now a ghost living out her allotted time as a volunteer at a suicide prevention hotline and saving elderly cats. When ghosts start to go missing Jenna maybe the only one who can save them.
McGuire doesn't fail to produce interesting plotlines and Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day does not disappoint. Jenna is clearly still mourning the loss of her sister decades before and McGuire allows that feeling to pervade every page of this story. This is a story that is truly bitter sweet. McGuire is always worth a read.
Ilona Andrews posted on their blog that she had read Stephanie Burgis' short story The Art of Deception and I decided to give it a go. This is the story of a down on his luck swordsman Niko and his landlord/girlfriend Julia. When Julia gets a summons home Niko reluctantly agrees to join her. What neither was expecting is their pasts catching up with them...and almost killing them. Swords and sorcery is a deadly combination.
I enjoyed this story and was quite disappointed when it came to an end. Niko and Julia were a couple I could easily read more about. Alas, the story was over too soon. Definitely worth a read especially if you are a fan of short stories.
That is it for me this week. Apologies this is a short one and I hope to have more to tell you about next week. Until then Happy Reading.
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day
Tor.com, January 10, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 192 pages
When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.
But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day is a new standalone urban fantasy novella from New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire.
The Art of Deception
Five Fathoms Press, August 9, 2016
eBook, 48 pages
Review Copy: Reviewer's Own
Niko Hrabanic was once a famous swordsman. But after a scandal-laden departure from his last job at a royal court, he's now hiding out in a rural inn, making himself useful to his attractive landlady in all sorts of ways that don't actually involve paying rent...
...until a summons from the mysterious and dangerous White Library shakes up his life all over again. His landlady, it turns out, has secrets of her own. Now Hrabanic and Julia will have to confront both of their pasts - and if they're going to have any hope of survival, they'll need both Hrabanic's sword arm and Julia's magical training.
It's time for them to become experts at the art of deception.
*Shortlisted for the 2016 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction*
The Art of Deception is a 12,400-word novelette full of swordfighting, banter, and a twisty plot. It was originally published in the 2015 anthology Insert Title Here, ed. Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Press).