Thursday, January 17, 2019

Just Another Love Song, by Kat Howard

★★★★☆ A Musical Fantasy to Die For

(Modern Fantasy) A banshee is singing for money in New York when she perceives a threat from a young man. Other fae have been disappearing, so she attacks with her voice, but the only result is that he asks her out. (3,379 words; Time: 11m)

"Just Another Love Song," by (edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.142 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is about Mairead figuring out what’s been happening to the disappearing fae, figuring out what to do about Trent, and about getting in touch with her own power. All the pieces of the story come together  nicely, and the ending is very satisfying.

From the very start we know that his magic cancels hers, but in a way that leaves her feeling something bottled up inside. Unlike Trent, she’s not practiced at using the dark side of her power, so there’s plenty of suggestion that, under the right circumstances, she can win this contest.

We also learn that she’s immune to his power. That’s important too, because it shows she’s not as helpless as she had seemed to be; it makes them look more like equals.

The big showdown is moving not just because she beats him but also because it feels like she was incomplete before and now she’s not. She’s done more that beat Trent, more than free her friends; she’s grown. When she picks up that microphone and WAILS, we feel it too.

Con: Trent is something of a cardboard villain.

The story has a little trouble deciding whether it’s funny or serious. The details about fae people adapted to life in New York make it seem more like slipstream, but it gets a lot more serious at the end.

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