I kind of started these two books out of order. I got this for free for an honest review from http://www.scifiandscary.com. And I loved it.
It’s a series of short stories inspired by folk songs, poems and tales. Which immediately caught my attention. I love music, folk songs in particular catch my ear because I love a song that tells a story. And most are songs of love, loss, ghosts, murder and grief. These are a few of my favorite things
It’s generally laid out like a typical short story anthology but what I do love is at the end of each story it gives you a brief history on the song, it’s origins and some singers of it. With source links. Which are awesome. It quickly became a game for me in trying to guess which song the story was based on. Sometimes I was right, sometimes I was wrong and other times it’s right in the title.
I usually go through the stories a bit but in this case I think that would spoil some of the fun for you guys reading it. So, I’ll just list the name of the story and my rating of it.
- Respawn, Reboot – Alison Pang 8/10
- The Knoxville Girl – Cherie M. Priest 9/10
- The Beams of the Sun – Dan Abnett 8/10
- Midnight Rider – David Mack 5/10 (This actually a really hard one for me to rate. I liked the story but I don’t think it tied in well with the source very well)
- Not Long After the Fair – Deborah Grabien 3/10 (Another iffy one. There’s a weird supernatural element that’s not properly explained and, again, departs far too much from the material. SPOILER: In the original song ‘She Moved Through the Fair’ the girl says to her lover that “my father won’t slight you for your lack of coin”. But in the story he does not like the lover/stalker. And the girl has weird sun magic. I don’t know. Now, the differences between the song and the story might be nitpicky but the story just doesn’t fit with it.
- Just Another Black Umbrella – Delilah S. Dawson 8/10 (Another that doesn’t quite fit the source. I thought it was going for The Phantom Hitchhiker but I was wrong. Still a very good story though.)
- The House of the Rising Sun – Eric J. Guignard 7/10
- Red River Valley – Gini Koch (writing as J.C. Koch) 8/10
- Who is Bringing Milk to Me – Josh Malerman 3/10 (The writing was good as was the characterization. I honestly did not get the story, though. Even with the explanation at the end. I don’t understand who (or what) The Milkman is and how it ties into what her brother saw. I’m sorry, I know I’m being vague as hell but I don’t want to give too much away but if anyone has read this story and knows what the fuckety fuck is going on, please let me know.
- First Dance – Laura Ann Gilman 7/10
- The Twa Corbies – Nik Vincent-Abnett 8/10
- A Tale of Three Deaths – Rachel Aules 6/10 (I would rate it higher but the narrative cheats a bit)
- I Lay Stretched on Your Grave – Rachel Caine 8/10
- In the Woods, Somewhere – James A. Moore 7/10
- Long Black Veil – David J. Schow 4/10 (Well written but again changes one of the major things about the song. And it’s something so central to the song that it’s hard to ignore)
As always, I welcome any comments, suggestions or feedback. You can reach me here or on Twitter here >>>https://twitter.com/GracieKat13