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Book Reviews: The Devil And The Deep, part 2 + Scents

The Devil And The Deep: Horror Stories of The Sea edited by Ellen Datlow, part 2

The Tryal Attract
A comical and ludicrous story of a skull. This was not ceaselessly interesting or particularly jolly.

The Whaler’s Song
A suboptimal tale of a troublesome tragically flawed unrepentant men and their jaded masculinity. This tries for creative wistfulness but is a palpable disappointment.

A Ship Of The South Wind
What is a prairie chicken? This is an odiferous tale of the old west.

What My Mother Left Me
Bad behaviour is justified. This is an okay tale of copious abuse and toxically self-absorbed people.

Broken Record
A man is stranded on a desert island. There is no creative excitement and it is not morbidly fascinating. This was an unsalvageable bore.

A man goes on a cruise. This was preoccupied with nuance and makes no sense. One felt distain for this narrative torpor, which is a useless vacuous experience.

A Moment Before Breaking
Is this a mythos tale? This is a tonally unsettling tale of a girl with menacing mystique, who is unreasonably terrifying.

Sister, Dearest Sister, Let Me Show You To The Sea
By Seanan McGuire. This is an excellent tale of sibling rivalry that is a twist on ‘The Little Mermaid’. There are dangerous consequences to an unloved sister who is full of seething resentment in this tale which is full of vicious little moments. The nightmarish situation of the heroine is beautifully desolate as she is the victim of intended malice and makes a bargain to live. This tale is wonderfully unrelentingly grim and unfolds with bleak fearful inexorability.

The Deep Sea Swell
A tale of a haunting on a ferry. This tries for grit and torment as an obviously monstrous ghost who underwent harrowing suffering while meeting a melancholic end lurks. But this is all silly antics and is completely incapable of scaring a Montessori preschool.

He Sings Of Salt And Wormwood
By Brian Hodge. This is a dull tale of emotional turmoil and the sea is a hostile element. This has a persistent whiff of fateness, self-delusion, behavioural disturbances and yet has no virtues. This was fruitless.

Best Lines:
“Down here, you’re food.”


Shit Happens
In this sexist tale, frat boy types deal with literal crap monsters. This was bilge.

Best Lines:
“Is the door locked?”
“Oh yes.”
“Good. Keep it that way.”

Old sins cast long shadows. No.

Scents by Johanna Kingsley
This was a dull bonkbuster whose reason for existing lies in elliptical obliquity. Two half sisters are bound by blood but not love as they (Viveanne and Martinel) become bitter rivals as they battle tenaciously for control of a glittering fragrance empire. This covers 2 generations of family dysfunction. This is not to be cherished or celebrated and makes depravity and decadence boring.
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review

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