In this collection, Thomas presents fourteen short works of speculative fiction which blend science fiction, fantasy, and horror together in intriguing ways.
It’s hard to write this review because of the diversity of the tales. The stories touch upon a plethora of genres and themes, including familial relationships, transformation, and atonement. A common device the author uses is cyclical time loops, which often lends a dream-like quality to the story that is enhanced by his deft prose.
One thing I really liked about the collection was how hopeful many of the stories were despite the dark subject matter – they fall under the genre of hopepunk in many ways, as the author himself notes once, with a view of human nature that is not quite positive but but looks upward to the future anyway.
I did think some of the stories were sometimes difficult to follow in what was going on at times, with how surreal they were. The author commentary was really helpful in this regard, but I did wish that a few stories were a little more explicit about what was happening, especially “The Caged Bird Sings In A Darkness Of Its Own Creation.”
I read this book in the audio format, which I really enjoyed. There were a number of narrators, with each narrator reading one or two stories, which gave the stories a nice variation in the way they were performed.
Ultimately, I enjoyed this collection. My favorite works were “Battle Not With Monsters” and “From Within,” two very different stories that demonstrate the author’s range.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.