Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
It’s hard for me to characterize this book, because it’s not just a short story collection, but neither is it a novel. It’s a set of stories of which *most* have some connection with several others, in the setting or with recurring characters or in themes. These were mostly sweet and, yes dreamy, stories of a magical world that lies just adjacent to the city of Newford. But just as I’d begin to fall into the comfortable rhythm of these connections, I’d be knocked right out of it with stories that didn’t bear any resemblance at all. These were much darker stories, and some without any supernatural elements. And a few had a finger-wagging, moralistic tone that I didn’t care for.
The first half of the book was definitely the strongest, as I found my attention wandering through most of the rest. There were a few frankly boring stories where characters sat around telling each other things instead of the reader actually experiencing them.
Overall, though, I’d recommend this collection, for those sweet, dreamy, magical stories of Newford, full of wonder and fantastical creatures and artsy characters who find themselves and each other and a sense of community in it.
Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, with a very good performance by Kate Reading.
I read this book for the Booklikes Halloween Bingo 2019, for the square Cryptozoologist: Any supernatural creature, from Ammit to Ziz. These stories featured a plethora of creatures and beings – dryads, fae, gnomes, mermaids, demon dogs, etc. – although my favorites were the balloon-men and a 2 foot high angry booger.