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Carpe Glitter

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  53 reviews
From Cat Rambo, author of The Tabat Quartet. What do you do when someone else’s past forces itself on your own life? Sorting through the piles left behind by a grandmother who was both a stage magician and a hoarder, Persephone Aim finds a magical artifact from World War II that has shaped her family history. Faced with her mother’s desperate attempt to take the artifact f ...more
Kindle Edition, 62 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Meerkat Press (first published October 19th 2019)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  156 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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“We both knew that it was real. We’d both seen her do things that only magic could have done.”
Persephone Aim inherits the house and all the possessions of her deceased grandmother, a former stage magician, a formidable and controlling woman, and a “grubby hoarder”. The giant house is crammed with stuff top to bottom, with junk and creepy doll collection, and what seems to be occasional disembodied pieces of a strange “automaton” and a ghost jar. Persephone’s mother, estranged from the dead g
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5ish stars for this Nebula-nominated SF/fantasy novelette. Persephone Aim is sorting through her dead grandmother's memorabilia and possessions, which is worse than it sounds because Grandmother was a hoarder. There are a few valuables left behind from Grandmother's illustrious career as a stage magician, but most of it is junk or worse. But things get interesting when Persephone finds an odd metal hand, marked with swastikas and lightning bolts, and then a mechanical leg.

Meanwhile some gover
Creative magic. A possibility of discovering more than what meets the eye. One person treasures can be another person secret to unlock.

Persephone is left the responsibility of sorting her late grandmothers house. Her grandmother was a hoarder and the house is full of wonders. There is a reason she was given the task and everyone seems a little too interested in helping.

If you like outside the box mysteries with a touch of magic this book is for you.

3 stars out of 5.

*I received an arc in exchan
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this family drama cum magic (mostly black) taking place in a late Not-So-Fairy-Grandmother's house. Trying to find some interesting (and probably sellable) stuff in her deceased granny's house, Persephone stumbles on stranger and more dangerous things than she had hoped for. A short, enjoyable and beautifully mastered anti-fairy tale novella, which offers more than its glittery surface indicates. Highly recommended for the readers who like true complexity hidden behind apparent si ...more
Iseult Murphy
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A young woman sorts through her grandmother’s stuff after her death, and discovers there was a lot more to the former stage magician than sequin dresses and hoarded soap.

It is amazing the amount of detail, character development, plot and emotional impact Rambo is able to achieve in so few words. A wonderful story of magic and family, the burden and baggage of feuds, the uncovering of old secrets and of fantasy. Oh, what lovely magic!

I don’t want to say more in case of spoiling this beautiful pi
Beth Cato
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2020, nebula
Carpe Glitter in a finalist in the novelette Nebula Award category, and it's easy to see why. This 60-page story is engrossing from page 1 with its deep family drama with a supernatural spin. Persephone is a woman with a terrible task before her: cleaning through the hoard left behind from her late grandmother, a Vegas stage magician with an extra-magical bent. And not just one house to clean through, either, but three, all interconnected and full of rotting papers and weird odds and ends, the k ...more
Jill Elizabeth
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This one totally intrigued me upfront - the cover, the blurb, Cat Rambo: what's not to love?? I requested a review copy and was delighted to receive it. I dug in eagerly - the opening grabbed me straightaway - it was full of mysterious intrigue, hints of dark family drama, secrets and hoarded treasures (and not-so-treasures)... It was, in a word, sublime. Until it wasn't...


I was loving it, flipping pages and trying to figure out what on earth was coming next, and then all of a sudden thing
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great story that layers a dusty collection of artifacts with entirely believable family tensions. The descriptions of Persephone's exploration of the house set the scene for gently fantastic discoveries, and the dynamic between her, her mother, and her (now-absent) grandmother is tense and painfully believable.

(view spoiler)

An adventure through family secrets and collections, with a lovely grace note of op
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one had me at magic and magicians. A consistently irresistible lure. I don’t think I’ve ever read the author before, if you just mentioned the name to me, I’d probably have an image of an aggressively militant feline. But at any rate, this novelette proved to be a complete delight. Nowhere near as silly as something with glitter in its title might turn out to be, this was a story of a young woman who comes to sort out her grandmother’s estate and the things she finds there. Ok, it sounds a ...more
Kyle Richardson
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cat’s attention to detail pulls you so convincingly into Persephone’s world that you can practically smell the dust and feel the grit wafting off the pages.

We meet Persephone as she’s elbow-deep in the task of sorting through her late grandmother’s cluttered home, in search of something valuable to help her through her financial woes. But Persephone’s grandmother was no ordinary woman—she was an accomplished stage magician, whose talents hovered over that eerie line where illusion and reality bl
Eddie Generous
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unnerving Magazine Review

Listen to my conversation with the author here:

A multi-layered situation boils together generational family struggles, hoarding, and a robot in a way that's compelling, interesting, and totally fun. Quick pacing. Good dialogue. An unexpected ending that's satisfying and final.
M.H. Thaung
This intriguing novella starts with Persephone Aim attempting to go through her late grandmother's house. It's full to the brim with junk, but also contains magical artifacts.And Persephone's not the only one interested in what may be found...

I happened to pick this book up just after clearing my mother's house (she was also a serious hoarder, although not a magician, to my knowledge), and the early descriptions of the sorting job really hit home.

The plot wasn't too complex (it's a novella, afte
Amie's Book Reviews
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was unsure what to expect from this novella. I had seen the author's name before, but I had not yet read any of her work. Reading CARPE GLITTER I was impressed with Cat Rambo's writing.

The story starts off in one direction and there is some foreshadowing of a surprise to come, but I could in no way have predicted the twists and turns this story.

For a novella of only 62 pages, Cat Rambo has skillfully created fully developed and complex characters. The fact that she has been able to do this f
I received a free eBook copy through a Goodreads giveaway.

Rambo manages to pack a lot into this piece of short fiction. At times it is funny, unsettling, mysterious, magical (literally and figuratively), and emotionally charged.

This was an interesting story to read while I'm going through the process of moving, granted the main character is instead going through her late grandmother's belongings, which is a very different situation, and, of course, this goes in a supernatural direction, but ther
E.D.E. Bell
This suspenseful little novelette is tiny and fleeting (like glitter!) - perfect if you need a break or a night to escape. It's about a search through Grandmother's mystical items, a complex family dynamic, dark finds, and a symbolic question. It's sensory, interesting, and delightfully weird. ...more
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella, 2020
I loved the way Cat Rambo blends dark humor, fantasy and sci-fi elements, and family relations. Death can reveal secrets and the ones we discover in Carpe Glitter are interesting. It's short (60 pages), quick to read, and entertaining. ...more
Suzy Michael
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.*

Cat Rambo breathes life into a real family dynamic with Carpe Glitter.

While sorting through the piles left behind by her grandmother who was both a stage musician and a hoarder, Persephone finds a magical artifact from World War ll that has shaped her family history. Faced with her mother's desperate attempt to take the artifact for herself, Persephone must decide whether to hold onto the past- or use it
C. S.
Interesting and charmingly weird, my main problems with this story were one, that it felt hyper condensed, even for a novella, and that I was slightly disappointed with the denouement.

But it's a fascinating family character study and the hints of magic and the supernatural were superb and creepy.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one... is a weird story. Enjoyable, but weird. The cover isn't what I would have picked given the contents; it doesn't (to me) go with this story of magic and a dysfunctional mother-daughter-grandmother family. ...more
Linda Hepworth
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a child Persephone had loved being allowed to explore her grandmother Gloria’s labyrinthine home. It was an amalgam of three houses which had acquired various additions and extensions over the years, thus providing a magical fascination for a young child. One of her grandmother’s favourite expressions was carpe glitter and that shiny glitter, so redolent of her stage persona, was one of the things Persephone remembered best about her. However, at home she was a “grubby hoarder”, never throwin ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a very short story of a extremely dysfunctional family. The main character is trying to sort through the hoarded remnants of her 'glitter' grandmother's life of magic when she encounters the scattered pieces of a WWII automatron and the fantasy is on from there. I admit that I was bewildered but also a bit intrigued through most of this unusual book.
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway for this honest review.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Publisher’s synopsis: What do you do when someone else’s past forces itself on your own life? Sorting through the piles left behind by a grandmother who was both a stage magician and a hoarder, Persephone Aim finds a magical artefact from World War II that has shaped her family’s history. Faced with her mother’s desperate attempt to take the artefact for herself, Persephone must decide whether to hold onto the past – or use it to reshape her future.

WOW! What an incredible magical mystery! Truly
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novelette recently won the Nebula Award, and deservedly so. It's a wonderful confluence of objects both mundane and magical, family secrets, and a masterclass in getting bang for your buck as a writer. Cat demonstrates a mastery of details in this short tale, and I was delighted each time a simple phrase served as worldbuilding brick, character description, and plot mover. Seize the glitter, indeed. ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Casually audacious, this novella eases into deep strangeness so persuasively because it’s so rooted in the real — here the edgy bond of mothers and daughters and their power over each other. The writing gently but completely and irresistibly pulls you in... before it shocks you.
Jessica Belmont
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You know when you take a chance on a book because of the title and it blows your mind in so many ways? This happened when I read Cat Rambo’s Carpe Glitter. I knew it was a paranormal/fantasy, and I knew it was a novelette. What I didn’t know is that Cat Rambo’s writing is so intelligent and convincing that I was basically in Persephone’s world.

Persephone is an intriguing main character. What I love most about her is that she feels real. And that is quite an accomplishment for such a short amount
Crystal Zavala
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meerkat-press
"Carpe Glitter, my grandmother Gloria always said. Seize the glitter."

Carpe Glitter is a short story about Persephone who has to clear out her wealthy Grandmother's estate. Her Grandmother was a hoarder and in the will Persephone was forbidden from selling any of the items until she finished sorting all of the items. Most of the items seem worthless, what does her Grandmother expect her to find? Persephone's grandmother was a famous magician in Las Vegas and believed in true magic. Maybe there a
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Starts gently and almost slow, but holy cow that was intense.
Tobyann Aparisi
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book on Goodreads (Kindle version) for an honest review.

A fun and short read I found myself just wanting more when I was through. Plenty of surprises in this story as I found myself really enjoying the humor and the direction it was going. The characters are very likeable and well thought out. I highly recommend this quick read to anyone.
Judith Pratt
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Why quit so soon?

Or is this a teaser, or a beginning, like "Waking Kate" is?
Well written. Intriguing. A woman digs through her grandmother's hoarded stuff. Grandma was a stage magician, and, it turns our, had a piece of real magic. The rest is spoilers, but it's a lot of creepy fun, and dysfunctional family secrets.
Terri Jones
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This starts out fairly calmly, but it gets darker, and I loved it. It needed one more edit though it's almost typo-free, for a few extraneous words and one impossible action. But it is unflinching in the end, and I respect the heck out of it for that. Great story. ...more
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F&SF writer Cat Rambo lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. She has been shortlisted for an Endeavour Award, Locus Award, World Fantasy Award and most recently the Nebula Award. Her debut novel, BEASTS OF TABAT, appeared in 2015 from WordFire Press, the same year she co-edited AD ASTRA: THE SFWA 50TH ANNIVERSARY COOKBOOK. Forthcoming books include EXILES OF TABAT (novel, Wordfire Press) and Y ...more

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