Look at this cover! Moon, stars, birds? Yes, yes yes. Disappointingly, I didn’t like what was inside the book quite as much as the cover. Starlings is a collection of short stories and poems that usually sit in the realm of sci-fi or fantasy. As with most short story collections, the pieces in here are a mixed bag of good, OK, and not so good. Ultimately, I didn’t enjoy the collection as much as I wanted to.
As I mentioned, most pieces are sci-fi or fantasy. Me being me, I enjoyed the stories that were more in the fantasy genre. A couple of my favorites were one story about a man made of moonshine and two rhymes and another about a magic mirror that felt like a prequel to Snow White. The narration was often distant which does feel fairy tale-esque, but sometimes makes it hard to connect with the characters. The ideas and themes in this collection were often great, but most stories left me feeling pretty hollow. The sci-fi stories were sometimes a bit weird for my taste, but often offered good commentary on society/humanity. The poems were good and often painted beautiful images, but I am not much of a poetry fan or critic.
This was one of those “just OK” reads. Some parts stood out, but most of it was forgettable. My feelings about the collection aren’t strong either way though. I gave it a very middle of the road three out of five stars.
Starlings is expected to be published February 13, 2018.
Thank you to NetGalley and Tachyon Publications for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.