Been a while since I’ve posted one of these, though that’s mainly due to life taking over what little free time and energy I had for the longest time. In any case, I do hope you guys enjoy the review and, if you do decide to check this book out for yourself or have already read it, let me know what your thoughts are! Continue reading
Book Reviews (via Goodreads)
Finally got around to finishing this after quite a few months. This book in particular was one I wanted to get at MFF 2016 for sure after hearing about it off/on; I even got this copy signed by Kyell Gold, so that’s pretty cool!
Anyway, onto the review! Continue reading
This is going to be a short review because…well this is a very short story. In fact, I don’t think it’s really much of a story at all. It read more like a vignette of sorts: a piece that isn’t necessarily a complete story, but isn’t some quick, unedited character or scene sketch either.
So far, this is the first story that’s written in second person. I do like how this one breaks the fourth wall a bit: the reader finds a vixen goddess in an old library and she’s talking to…well, you. Given that she talks about the anthology itself, and about animal-like gods in general, this short, fun vignette helps the reader become more engrossed in the anthology’s theme. However, if this was this piece’s intention, I’m not sure why it wasn’t placed at the beginning of the anthology. Granted it’s still towards the beginning, but not the very beginning. I don’t intent for this to be a negative remark on the editor’s part; I’m mostly curious about it’s placement. Who knows.
This was an interesting one, mainly due to some the inspiration the author derived certain aspects of this story. Most of this story read a lot like a Biblical story, and I can see a lot of influence from both the Old and New Testaments. There’s this setting in a desert area with cities far from each other, a protagonist who’s very religious and seems like a prophet of sorts, and a deity who can take on mortal form to interact with the protagonist and any other characters around him. This prophet, Skitter, seems to be a faithful follower of Kadiel, a god who can’t be seen but can take on a mortal form, later known as Josaif. Josaif definitely sounds like this “Jesus figure” in the story; still Kadiel, just in mortal form. Skitter is also going against this culture who’s gods might just be carved stone, and that’s all that they are. He is also able to perform miracles as well, it seems.
I really enjoy this type of story arc: a character, or group of characters, always on the run, yet always encountering road blocks to keep them from their goal. While the story doesn’t pick up right away, things really begin to get interesting once they reach the city of Parainmont and Skitter, being an Outsider to the Expermian culture, is not welcomed, for the most part. Again, going back on the Biblical influences, two of the characters “see the light” in Kadiel, and Josaif is able to see Toval’s willingness to be a follower as well. Again, this goes back to Josaif being the “Jesus figure” where he’s able to instantly see what truly lies in someone’s heart. Maybe all this Biblical influence is why this might be one of my favorites so far. I grew up Lutheran; naturally, I was exposed to the Bible a lot growing up, so most of this story resonated with me in that sense.
I will admit, this story felt a little incomplete. I understand that, being a short story, you can’t always have everything tied up in a nice package. However, there’s one scene where the Expermian priests are angry, yet afraid, after seeing Josaif. We don’t know what all they did in the end, other than state “let’s see how an Outsider’s god stands against another one of ours.” I understand the focus is more on what happens wherever Skitter goes and not so much after-the-fact, but I would love this part to be explored a little more. Maybe it is, seeing as this is a short story that takes place in the author’s larger world.
“Contract Negotiations” by Field T. Mouse
I really enjoyed this “trickster tale” of sorts, even if Ratatoskr’s goal was a humbling one. Usually, with trickster tales, the main intention of the “trickster” is to cause mischief and come out on top (they usually don’t). These also tend to be humorous stories as well. In Norse mythology, while Ratatoskr is more of a messenger than a trickster figure, he does tend to spread gossip or lies–be it for the hell of it or out of anger. (This information is based on the short introduction that gave some context on the characters and how they fit within their culture’s mythos). The author integrated this well.
I don’t claim to know much about Norse mythology aside from the few major gods or worlds, such as Thor, Odin, Loki, Valhalla, Midgard, Odin’s ravens, the giant tree Yggdrasil, and the Nidhogg. (The latter two are included in this story). Thankfully, you don’t need to know much about Norse mythology to enjoy the characters. I liked Nidhogg’s clueless, and might I say adorable, character, despite being a scaling, soul-eating, feral dragon. I liked how the unnamed Eagle was puffed-up, stoic, egotistical, yet at the end of the story, you get a sense that he has a heart. Again, I’m not mythology buff, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these portrayals of these gods aren’t too far off from their original counterparts.
This was an enjoyable story overall. It was funny, sweet, had relatable characters, has a simple yet semi-familiar setting, and integrated a cool mythology.
I decided to check out this book as I’m currently writing a story which features a minor, animal-like god. Perhaps I can gain a little nudge at some inspiration for it. I may review this anthology differently this time, however. This is the largest collection I’ve read so far (23 stories) and I’ve been itching to read this one for quite some time now.
With how large this is, I’ve decided to write short reviews of each of the stories as I read them. These won’t be posted in my review on Goodreads, but I feel like I wouldn’t do this anthology justice if I only did an overall review. Again, this is a decently-sized collection that features a lot of different furry authors and has an interesting theme (see title).
Read on for the review of the first story in this collection! Continue reading
I may start sharing my book reviews on here. I don’t read much, but I try to make sure I review every book I’ve read, if only for the author’s sake. Just to let you know, I tend to read a lot of anthropomorphic fiction, which is a very niche market.
And now, on to the review. Continue reading