Jennifer's Reviews > Boondocks Fantasy

Boondocks Fantasy by Jean Rabe
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's review
Feb 06, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011
Read from January 17 to 20, 2011

The Giant by Gene Wolfe--This was a great story. The boondock feel wasn't as strong to me in this story as the others but it was a fantastic, slightly darker version of a fairytale. Wolfe did something that I found particularly annoying; he never gave the main character a name. He just continuously refered to him as "the writer of children's books" and after reading this a couple of dozen times it really gets old. Honestly, If the writer of children's books would've had a name to break the monotony I would've very much enjoyed the story being longer.

Protection by Timothy Zahn--Zahn's use of a mermaid as one of the main characters was quite unique. It's always fantastic when an author thinks outside the box and dazzles the reader and Zahn did just that. This was a great mystery with a hint of fantasy.

Lake People by Chris Pierson--I was intrigued by this story. At first I thought that Helen was a little on the crazy since she had elves all over her yard. They seemed to multiply like crazy but there was a reason for that. The lake people were creepy and mysterious. The ending kinda leaves you hanging in the balance wanting to know what happened next. My only wish was for the story to have been longer.

Cat People by Mickey Zucker Reichert--This story was okay but definitely not one of my favorites. The Austin's watch their dreams of having a farm go up in smoke as their barn burns to the ground. Days later, the couple notices someone has been rebuilding their barn. Stunned, they ask neighbors who have no clue as who is doing it. When the culprits are found out I was shocked. It's a fair story but not memorable.

The Horned Man by Steven Savile--I wasn't sure where this one was going but hung in there to find out. A couple hits something on a snowy road while traveling. Of course they pull over to check the damage and the husband sees a horned man at the woods edge. He goes into the woods after the beast. The ending was definitely a shocking surprise. The only downfall to me was that the characters were a little flat.

The Feud by Patrick McGilligan--The Feud was a very strange zombiesque story about two rival families, the Hopper's and the Stones. A young boy and girl seem to be in love and are seperated not only by their families but also by the river that runs between their homes. No one has ever successfully crossed the river and not out of a lack of trying. I love a good zombie tale; mix in a little zombie love and bingo, you have a great story. Too bad this wasn't a longer story.

The Devil Is A Gentleman by Raymond Benson--This was a uniquely wicked approach to using the devil as a character. I absolutely loved the detective agency name "Fyre and Breem-Stoan." There was a scene when the telephone started smoking and I couldn't help but laugh. That was too darn funny and fitting, of course. Very enjoyable read with interesting characters.

Eternal Vigilance by Dylan Birtolo--Love the use of a water demon in this one. That's an otherworldly creature that you definitely don't see often. Birtolo's water demon reminded me of the one in Charmed but this was much much better. I did want more details on Shawn's magical background but found the story to be fantastic without it. Fantastic read.

The Taste of Strawberry Jam by Elizabeth A Vaughan--I can only describe this one as urban fantasy gone country. A group of purse snatching city girls find themselves in the country where they attempt to steal an old ladies purse and don't succeed. The girls turn out to be succubi which, I'm sad to say, don't really show any signs of being otherworldly. Although this wasn't a bad read I would have enjoyed more magic.

The Storyteller by D L Stever--Although the Storyteller was very short, it was a great ghost story. This would be perfect to tell around a campfire. This one reminded me a little bit of Pet Sematary by Stephen King. Not in King's dark, creepy, freakish 'Gage' kinda way. A fantastic read.

Being Neighborly by Anita Ensal - This was a cute little story loaded with characters I'd love to visit again. Junior and Little Mams leave 'the Neighborhood' and move to the big city. There's some strange things going on with the neighbors so they call Big Mams to come visit them. This feisty old lady knows a lot and she swings a mean frying pan. A great story full of just the right amount of humor and I hope Anita brings the gang from the Neighborhood back for more adventures.

Marfa by Anton Strout - 'Don't Mess with Texas' could be the moral of this story as a non-believer from New York learns that his parents might actually have some wisdom worth knowing when it comes to the 'wildlife' of West Texas. A fun read that will make you think twice before getting out of your car on a lonely Texas road in the middle of nowhere.

Aware by C.J. Henderson - This story didn't quite do it for me. I saw the potential but it lacked punch. It seemed a little slow through the whole thing and the ending just didn't provide a conclusion satisfying enough to make up for that.

Sully's Solution by Kelly Swails - A sheriff with cancer and the town outcast provide the drama that powers this little story from beginning to end. A great story that packs a feel-good quality with its simplicity.

Trophy Wife by Vicki Johnson-Steger - The title and the plot of the story involve a bit of word-play that provides a little laugh. The story takes a tale we've heard before and gives it a nice twist. Axel is a likable guy who finds happiness in the simple things in life. The ending isn't really a surprise, except I am shocked that it didn't happen sooner.

Fairies Weep Not by Linda P. Baker - The rules of life are simple: Kids believe in fairies; adults don't... but what if an adult got to peek inside that fairy world and then realized it might all come to an end if they don't do something? This was another one that was on the slow side but it wasn't a bad read.

Siren Tears by John Lambshead - The story is only a few pages long but we get an interesting cast of characters in that amount of space. Like Being Neighborly, this is another storyline I'd like to see more of, but not with this main character. He's not the kind of guy you can root for, at least not without doing some growing up. However, other travelers could visit the little town of Morwenstowe and have similar encounters with the interesting inhabitants.

Jefferson's West by Jay Lake - An interesting spin on the historic figures Lewis and Clark but the premise feels like a tease because the story doesn't really go anywhere and the plot didn't flow smoothly at all for me.

Black Rider by Brian A. Hopkins - I enjoyed this one as soon I got on-board with how the story is set up. At first I thought the story had ended and launched into a new one because of the complete change in setting and direction of plot but the seemingly separate halves of one man's life come together to paint a clearer picture of the main character, as well as helping the reader understand the power of the Black Rider.

Rural Route by Donald J. Bingle - Ever wonder what's up with the crop circles and cow mutilations that visiting extra-terrestrials always seem to take part in? This story explains it all... and you'll never mistake these guys for the cute and cuddly E.T.


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Reading Progress

01/17/2011 page 35
01/18/2011 page 78
24.0% "I can only describe this one as backwoods country fantasy. UNIQUE & FUN"
01/20/2011 page 125
39.0% "Great anthology of fantasy stories set in the backwoods."
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