on 14 July 2014
The second of Laura Lam’s Vestigial Tales short stories is considerably shorter than the first (The Snake Charm), but is just as well-told.
The story itself is pretty simple, and is as the blurb says – but what impressed me were the aspects it leaves out. The style of the story, for one – it’s written very much like a classic fable, which alone makes it stand apart from its predecessor. It’s a nice touch that doesn’t attempt to milk too much out of a story that’s better left as short and punchy as it is.
Another thing I loved was Laura’s description of the Chimaera sea maiden that the fisherman catches. No sweet and pretty Disney mermaids here; this is a creature that’s clearly enthralling to humans, but has that edge of something dangerous that makes it a better idea to leave them the hell alone. You know, if one is smart enough to take the hint…
Also, I’m really enjoying the exploration of various types of Vestige to be found in this fictional world from the Pantomime novels. These magical gadgets have fascinated me from the start, so having this as the common element, if you will, in these short stories is pretty pleasing to me.
Bring on the next one – and, hopefully one day, a print collection… *Goes off into a bookworm daydream*
on 14 December 2014
Telling a tale not centred around any of the main characters, but going more into the mythology of the world... A fisherman finds a piece of 'vestige' (strange items that hold magic, that we see throughout the series) that grants him the ability to be the best fisherman in the village. One day, he catches something so incredibly extraordinary, which gives us a truly wonderful tale. And uh, that's not meant to be a pun, I swear.
This is truly beautiful, emotive and only makes you yearn for more of Lam's writing. The piece of vestige we get to see is described so delicately, and you can easily visualise how it looks and moves perfectly. The Mer is instantly a character in her own right. I loved her power and quiet determination.
This short story packs a bitter, sharp punch that is satisfying - without saying too much, I'm glad the short ended this way.
on 4 September 2014
An interesting, short moral tale from the author of Pantomime and Shadowplay. This novella made for the perfect fable with its balance between doing what's right and wrong. I'm really enjoying finding out about the powers of the Vestige. Laura Lam continues the use of her magical and captivating language as she threads a tale of the dangers of greed.
The Fisherman's Net is a standalone novella despite being situated in the world of the Pantomime series. I love that each of these tales add a little something extra to the series and I can't wait to read more!