Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bones of the World, by Jennifer Hykes

(Fantasy) Maggie's fisherman father died at sea recently, and since then, she seems to have acquired some supernatural powers. (4,900 words)

Rating: 4, Recommended

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The moment when you realize Maggie turned the nun into a lobster is absolutely horrifying. And when you realize her effort to protect Noel's father is going to end up destroying every other boat in town. The gradual realization that Maggie isn't quite human, or even if she were human, she'd be a psychopath. Well done!

It's interesting that in this story Christianity works, but only to a degree. Noel's prayer is enough to break Maggie's original enchantment, but not enough to keep him from being turned into a hawk. Likewise, Father O'Grady can't do a thing to Maggie, but he can protect the area right around the church.

Con: Noel is a sympathetic character because we realize he loves Maggie. Even at the end, he becomes her obedient hawk, hopping to her hand when commanded. But he's the only sympathetic character. The story ends with Maggie victorious, and that's a little unsatisfying.

"," by appeared in the January 2016 issue of Apex Magazine (Issue 80), published .

3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I rather liked this one as well, although I'm not sure I'd say the ending was unsatisfying, more dark.

    1. I suppose what I found unsatisfying is that Maggie ends up being more of a natural disaster than a fallen human being. It's still a very powerful story, of course.

  2. I liked it, although a natural disaster is a good comparison. There seems to be no check on her power except that she wants to go back under hill ASAP. The townspeople just have to endure, and there's no indication that those she changed will revert back.