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Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful Paperback – March 13, 2012
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Some people do not find my reviews helpful. Please comment on what information you would like to see. Obviously I have read the book so the review is to guide other potential readers in their selections. This review is my opinion and I can see how this collection might appeal to some. De gustibus non disputandem est (if i remember my high school Latin.)
Below is story by story comments. The introductions I find a bit rambling, reminiscent of something I would write. A few of the stories left disturbing images in my mind, so they would certainly be considered memorable. But I did not find them fun to read. If you like stories that you find weird and perhaps creates nightmares to odd thoughts, this book may stick with you. The main thing is I did not find it "fun" to read. So for some, this may be an ideal book, a taste of the macabre, disturbing images that stick with you. But it was not my cup of tea. Try short stories by Orson Scott or Edgar Allen Poe card for better written, thought provoking short stories.
Walpurgis Afternoon by Delia Sherman I found a amusing and one of the better stories. The placement of witches in conventional life with a slightly different viewpoint.
Nightside by Mercedes I had read before, another reason to be disappointed with Mercedes and this anthology. They should at least add an original work to the collection.
The Cold Blacksmith by Elisabeth Bear seemed like the author reached for a broken heart metaphor and then beat it into the ground. Not much happens and the story seemed a tad long for a simple tale. But the writing was good with excellent usage of conversations and scene setting.
Basement Magic by Ellen Kages was sad and too slow paced for my taste. But a story I could see others liking.
Mirage and Magia by Tanith Lee was slow and melodramatic.
Lessons with Miss Gray by Theodora Goss seemed a bit disjointed and left me wondering what was the point? Does the magic fade away as we age?
The World is Cruel, My daughter by Cory Skerry a morbid take on the Rapunzel story. This one has promise but is one the macabre stories. A good story but not my taste.
Ill met in Uthar by T.A. Pratt was a fun take on alternate realities and treatment of physchotic wizards, while poking fun at some of the worst aspects of pulp fiction.
The witches headstone by Neil Gaiman was a sweet short story. A mixture of fairy tale and young adventure.
Boris Chernevsky's Hands by Jane Yolen had the elements of a classic Russian fairy tale, including Baba Yaga. Best not to mess with witches and magic.
Bloodlines by Silvia Moreno _Garcia I liked, but not enough to salvage the whole anthology book. A coming of age, coming of power. The author shows potential.
The Way Wind by Andre Norton was not one of her best stories. It was slow and somehow seemed a bit pompous, full of itself, as if you were granted a special pleasure being allowed to read of these stereotyped characters and their one dimensional life's. Again perhaps this story appeals to others peoples taste, but too slow and one dimensional for my taste. Andre does not write deep character books; but usually offset this with lots of action. I found neither here.
Poor Little Saturday by Madeleine L'Engle I found an authors musings with little direction. A well written scene setting but no action or characters to truly identify with.
The Only Way to Fly by Nancy Holder I found fun and interesting. A new take on old witches and retirement.
Skin Deep by Richard Parks had some interesting twists and a love story. A thought provoking tail.
The Robbery by Cynthia Ward did have satisfaction for anyone who has been the victim of a robbery or the spoiled jock town hero.
Marlboros and Magic by Linda Robertson is a tongue in cheek story of growing older with powers while fighting the smoking habit.
Magic Carpets by Leslie What was a slow moving story of seeking that elusive land of happiness. But what happens to the land you left?
The Ground Whereon She Stands by Leah Bobet a commentary of the danger of being friends with witches. Hard to identify with the characters and the plot went nowhere.
Afterward by Don Webb rings on public hysteria; but still leaves the age old question why would a powerful witch allow herself to be burned alive? Revenge is clear but why not avoid the situation?
April In Paris by Ursula Le Guin I found whimsical and a gem of ideas, lifes and well phrased scenery background.
The Goosle a take on Hansel and Gretal was morbid and a bit creepy. probably the effect the author was trying for.
Catskin by Kelly Link reminds me of some old fairy tales. Good does not always win and it may give you creepy nightmares. Not the type of escapism I was looking for nor expected.