Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth hand

Saffron and Brimstone: Strange StoriesSaffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In keeping with my promise of honesty in reviews I will first disclose that I usually hate short stories. The lack of character development and the short and hurried plot points tend to kill it for me, so the fact that I made it through this at all, says something about my respect for this author’s abilities.

Now to review. Okay, the book is subtitled “Strange stories,” so I can’t say that I didn’t go into this prepared for what I found. The subtitle doesn’t lie. This is definitely an interesting collection of strange stories.

Whilst the book does indeed raise some unusual questions and provide the reader with a lot of what if scenarios, the stories to me felt incomplete and as if the author changed thought processes in the middle of them. I don’t think I walked away from any of these stories feeling like I really understood where she was trying to go with it. Perhaps that was intentional and I am simply reinforcing her intent.

I shall warn others, this book has some tough subject matter including abuse, sexual and otherwise. If that bothers you, then this might not be the best book for you. However, if you like stories that are definitely off the beaten path (not an intentional pun) then you will get a kick out of this collection. These are the kind of stories that make you lie awake wondering hat just happened and how you would deal with the ideas that the author brought forth.

I hate bugs. The first story is full of insects. This is a personal issue and nothing wrong with what the author wrote, but it did not endear me any closer to this book.

Overall, this was different and not something that I would read again, but I’m glad I had the experience. Need an ice-breaker at a lit convention? This book is the way to go.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from Open Road Media and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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