Friday, October 18, 2019

Phantoms of the Midway, by Seanan McGuire

★★★★☆ Full of Surprises

(Horror) Aracely loves travelling with her mother’s carnival, but now that she’s a teenager, she chafes at the restriction that she can’t leave the fairgrounds. What could it hurt? (7,592 words; Time: 25m)

"Phantoms of the Midway," by (edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.543 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part of this story is the twist. It’s the sort of thing you don’t see coming, and yet when it happens, you realize it makes total sense. It’s a surprise, yet it’s not surprising.

Beyond that, it does a wonderful job of showing us the carnival through Aracely’s eyes. Whatever it looks like to anyone else, to her it’s magical.

On a third level, this is Aracely’s coming-of-age story, in which she goes from dependent to independent.

This is supposedly a retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades, but, to be honest, I see very little connection between the two stories.

Con: The plot is very simple. There’s nothing to it beyond Aracely’s explorations, and there’s no real cost to her freedom; it just inconveniences her mom, who puts up no real fight.

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