- File Size: 411 KB
- Print Length: 147 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Twelfth Planet Press (October 31, 2012)
- Publication Date: October 31, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00A9EZ4IU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778,435 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Through Splintered Walls (Twelve Planets Book 6) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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"Mountain" is the unsettling memoir of a woman whose life takes an unexpected turn following a supernatural encounter. A story about relinquishing and resuming control in one's life and the consequences of both, a subtle sense of dread accretes at its core but "Mountain" is more an emotional drama than a supernatural one.
"Creek" is straight-out supernatural horror, featuring the chilling Quaking Women, as horrible as they are unmistakeably Australian. It's sad and malign and probably my favourite of the collection. There's an emotional gut-punch at the end of the story that's all the more effective because I should have seen it coming and didn't.
"Road" is a sweet little ghost story about one of Australia's many "black spots", referring to those notorious stretches of road where fatal accidents tend to happen, and why you might see one of those memorial wreaths laid out there.
"Sky", the novella, is one of those horror stories that stays with you. It is a horrific, sprawling tale that begins with a tiny act of callous cruelty and becomes a clinical examination of the insidiousness of human malice - how it can begin, how it spreads and how it can become institutionalised. It asks bleak questions about humanity and finds the answers lacking, but it is a compelling read. And if ever a story has paid off on the promise of its opening passage with its closing sentence, it's "Sky". The ending is utterly sickening, but it earns the reader's repulsion.
Through Splintered Walls was a complete success for me. Creepy, daring and provocative, the horror stemming from humanity unhinged as often as from the supernatural, each as nasty as the other.
Splintered Walls follows the loose format of previous Twelve planets volumes with four stories - 3 shorts and a novella.
They are: Mountain, Creek, Road and Sky. Gemma Files in the book's introduction says of Warren that:
"[she] has the true gift of spell-casting, the sort of deceptively direct, declamatory literary style which says: I simply have to speak a thing, and no matter how odd it may seem in the telling, it is instantly rendered so--solid, actual, honest, real."
And I am not going to argue. I also think that Warren, like Lanagan has given us a collection that is identifiably Australian without belabouring the point. I found each of the settings recognisable, each of them resonated at some level within me.
Mountain tapped into my experiences of driving through the Glasshouse mountains and long road trips with my family, Creek awoke memories of drownings in desert waterholes, Road, flashes of roadside death markers and Sky, well Sky made me look at my small rural community in a entirely new and not altogether comfortable way.
Her "declamatory literary style" makes for stories that you just slip into, they are matter of fact, uncontrived. They could be "your" story until the reveal of course.
In looking back at the three shorter pieces I feel myself questioning which is truly horrific, the supernatural or the very real tragedy that occurs in the mundane? I think it's the mundane situations in these stories that effect me the most. Once you get past the blood and guts in horror, past the suspense, it's the empathy with characters, the horror they perform or are at the receiving end of that makes a piece work for me.
If you are into good, understated horror, horror in the everyday, then pick up this collection.
This book was purchased from the wonderful Wizard's Tower Books.