Reading Level: Adult
Length: 192 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Part of the Alabaster series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through Netgalley. Thanks to Netgalley and Dark Horse for a chance to read this book. I have a number of Keirnan books on my bookshelf waiting to be read, but this is the first thing I have read by her. I thought this would be a graphic novel like Alabaster: Wolves…it is not it is a collection of short stories featuring Dancy Flammarion. Many of these stories have appeared other places, so if you are a huge fan of Keirnan you may have already read a lot of these.
This is a collection of short stories featuring Dancy Flammarion. There are a couple illustrations done by Ted Naifeh in each story. There are six stories total, they vary in length and content. I have summarized each of them below. There are two prefaces which explain the origin of the below short stories and the history behind the stories written about Dancy Flammarion. My favorite two stories of the whole bunch were Alabaster and Bainbridge.
As mentioned above, I have a couple of Kiernan’s novels on my bookshelf at home, but this is my first time actually reading something written by her. These are dark urban fantasy/horror short stories about a teenage girl named Dancy who is commanded by an angel to go from place to place fighting evil and dealing out justice.
The stories are very dark. I think someone who has read the novels featuring Dancy would probably get more from reading these short stories. However, I did enjoy piecing together Dancy’s background by pulling out bits and pieces through these stories.
Overall I enjoyed this book, it made me want to read more of Kiernan’s books. She has a very beautiful, strange, and at times slightly ambiguous style to her story telling. It was very unique and made for an excellent read. I would recommend to those who enjoy dark fantasy and unique writing styles.
See below for more detail on the stories included.
– Les Fleurs Emposionness: (4/5 stars)
Dancy hitches a ride to a house where a bunch of truly ghoulish women reside. It seems to take place when Dancy is older.
– The well of Stars and Shadows (4/5 stars))
This story is about Dancy in her youth. She journeys through the swamp to visit an old man. He has a visitor that is something creepy and devilish
– Waycross (4/5 stars)
Dancy goes to take care of a problem involving a old monster that’s lived ages and ends up on some sort of soul journey to prove herself and escape. This seems to take place some time between Well of Stars and Shadows and Les Fleurs Empoisoness.
– Alabaster (5/5 stars)
Takes place 5 days after a fire at Bainbridge, this is an event that is referenced throughout the short stories. Dancy follows her angel to a gas station where she confronts a man and a monster and takes care of both. This is by far the most cohesive and fluid story of the bunch and I felt like it helped me understand Dancy the best. I really enjoyed it.
– Bainbridge (5/5 stars)
This story switches between Dancy going into a church to fight evil things and a story set in the 80’S about a woman name Julia Flammarion. This was a again a very cohesive story and provided excellent background on Dancy, I really enjoyed it. It was beautifully written.
– Highway 97 (4/5 stars)
Very short story about Dancy on the road to Bainbridge. She’s followed by a strange talking dog on the road. This story was more of a fragment than a full length story.
– Afterward (4/5 stars)
The afterward is an explanation of where Kiernan got the idea for In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers. It is well written and an interesting read.