Top critical review
on January 20, 2013
I thoroughly understand how hard it is for a writer to compose a short story. By and large publishers of the genre have set in place so many restrictions on what they will accept as a short story that usually the author's creativity becomes stifled during the writing process. Due to such restrictions (i.e.--How many words the story can contain or how many pages it need be) very few modern day writers ever achieve success in the field as did Henry, Poe, or Conrad. Still every now and again an established novelist will pick up the gauntlet, take on the challenge and try something new--that writer will step out of his or her comfort zone and tackle writing a short story.
Rae Carson's "Dangerous Voices" was an enjoyable read. The premise of the story was wonderfully refreshing. No Potteresque influences in this tale: There are no witches, no wizards, no schools of magic, or potions classes to attend in this story. Rae Carson's central character is none other than (the sound of) the voice.
What's bad about the tale? Let's see... I felt that the characters owning the voices were not completely developed. I wanted to know more about them. Who were they before they ended up where they are? Why does each Muse (oops) pick that individual or can others be chosen? Why is society so afraid of the voices? I also want to know what the heck is the gunk on the wall that the central male character prefers eating over his daily meal?