Daniel's Reviews > Scenting the Dark and Other Stories

Scenting the Dark and Other Stories by Mary Robinette Kowal
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's review
Jan 07, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: short-stories, general-fiction, science-fiction, fantasy
Read in January, 2010

I was disappointed by this book. I had heard the author on a few episodes of Writing Excuses and had been impressed with what she had to say, particularly in this episode. As a result I had high hopes for the stories in this collection.

The stories are primarily character portraits, and don't mistake me, her characters are very well drawn and believable, and her description in the narrative is apt. However, the endings of all of these stories fall flat for me. It's always clear what feeling they are intending to leave me with, but with the possible exceptions of "Portrait of Air" and "Jaiden's Weaver", the latter of which is still too predictable and pat of an ending, the majority of the stories fail to earn the emotional response they seem to be striving to provoke in the reader. In particular, the titular story of the collection has an ending that is clearly aiming to leave the reader with a sense of dread and uncertainty, but the result is that the piece feels like the author got up and left the room mid-scene, never coming back to it.

I feel like there is great promise in her writing, particularly in her attention to detail with her characters, so I will take a peek at her novel when it comes out later this year, but this particular collection was disappointing.
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02/05/2016 marked as: read

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