From Publishers Weekly
When Halkon (Nightseekers
) calls one of the 24 intense stories in this collection "Meaningless Story," she may mislead readers into either taking her at her word or giving her more street cred than necessary. She uses recurring themes and images (night, betrayal, dreams, angels) to explore the creation or discovery of meaning in uncaring environments. As with much psychological horror, the worst monsters are often the most intimate companions. Halkon mixes fantasy and SF tropes along with more traditional folktale and ghost story elements to build worlds in which narrators find themselves isolated and forced to wander toward (or away from) salvation. When her sparse prose and unsparing narratives come together ("Empty," "Little Death," "Golden Apples"), Halkon succeeds in delivering the emotional and moral core of her tale. "Moments," a story of love lost by choice, conveys a strong sympathy for its fallen narrator. When the stories lapse into less challenging territory, they can collapse into simple moralizing. Those with a yen for modernist angst will be most rewarded. (Dec.)
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