Publisher: Open Road
Publishing Date: July 2014
Publisher Description: Seventeen delightfully unexpected stories from Simon R. Green—including a brand-new adventure of the Droods—take us deep into the Darkside, embroil us in the Secret Histories, and lead us into the shadowy places where monsters and demons roam
Review: Cover art is way weak. When in doubt, put a raven on it, preferably in water color.
This is a collection of short stories. Some are good, some are not so good. After about halfway through this “collection” I thought “Fug, this reminds me of Mistworld”. Lo, and behold back in January I wrote a rather scathing review on Mistworld by Simon R. Green. My issues with Mistworld were many fold, but the main detraction was the constant use of adverbs, verbs and nouns conjoined into non-sensical phrases for finishing a persons emotive inclinations.
So here we are again, with a collection of short stories by a very creative author that uses phrase crutches to imply a deeper characterization than really exists, as building characters takes effort which, short stories by their nature, are loathe to develop.
Kudos to the author for minimizing the use of his unique phraseology from Mistflop and gets an extra star for the effort. BUT, in one short story we had…(ahem) “glared impotently x3”, “said diffidently x3”, “said grimly x2”, “said carefully x2”, “tugged thoughtfully”, “sniffed moodily”, “said crushingly x2”, “sniffed sourly x3”. And of course throughout the novel we have multiple uses of “scowled, scowl, growl, growled, sighed, moodily and thoughtfully”.
Lets look closer at a couple of these “phrases”. “Closed the door thoughtfully”. How the fuck do you close a door thoughtfully? Why would you need to close a door thoughtfully, unless said door likes a good banging. Is the door in need of repair, so as you ruminate on how best to repair the door, a thoughtful look comes across your face? And what is sniffing moodily? Is the act of sniffing a noun that now requires an adjective emotive quality? I mean, most of these phrases do not fit the scene and if they did, you have a hard time visualizing what the author is trying to impart.
I will say it again. The author should take an advert out that goes something like: “Good writer with a lot of creative ideas, looking for hot narcoleptic book editor. Will win lots of awards if a leash is used in the restraint of idiotic prose. Looking for candidate that likes to edit in their underwear. Cheers.”