Short fiction, like a well-executed amuse-bouche, is very hard to pull off satisfyingly. Due to the nature of the back-lying mechanics of it, there is just so much opportunity to lean on one pillar of the story structure while not paying enough attention to one of the others.
Miss Hyatt understands this. The Last Shimmer balances a very well-developed storyline along with fully formed characters and a richly described setting in a way that is downright envious.
Without giving too much of it away, The Last Shimmer is the story of Tiger Lily Dander, her friend Stacy and the fanciful supposition of:
What if our shadows turned on us?
It works, it really really does, and, like I said before, Miss Hyatt develops a situation and a group of characters that work incredibly well for this piece.
This is twenty-seven pages of wonderful middle-grade horror with an absolute bow on top. Sure, it is not my normal fare, but I’m very much reconsidering the role of short fiction as a sort of palate cleanser between bigger works. I definitely needed this, and I really think all of you will enjoy it as well.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review
To say that Jane Yolen is a legend is putting it lightly. Ms. Yolen has won just about every Science Fiction award available, and has such a prolific body of work that it is almost too daunting.
When I was given the opportunity to preview The Midnight Circus, I jumped at it. Made largely of previously published short stories along with the notes and poems that inspired each of the sixteen stories, The Midnight Circus is a collection of pure magic. The ease with which Ms. Yolen weaves such masterful tales and builds such amazing worlds is nigh sickening. Be it a twisted retelling of the Red Riding Hood tale, or stories of mermaids and wild princesses, Ms. Yolen transitions and build upon each short story in a way that captures the full attention of the reader and leaves them wanting just a bit more.
The most impressive thing to me, however, was he wide variety of cultures represented in this anthology. Everything from a retelling of the Exodus story to Scottish folklore to stories about Russian Jews is represented here. Each and every one with a unique character and character stance authentic to their settings.
Jane Yolen truly is a Queen of storytelling.