Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review of "Last Night," a short story by Jennifer Powell


Summary:
Deep in the wildwood a shining blue meadow appears, the birthplace of forest spirits with varying forms, all determined to destroy the people who live nearby. Deyant and her sister Mrinda are among the few of their folk with the power to walk the hidden paths that lead to the meadows. They alone have the ability to twist the connection between the wildwood and its spawn, killing the creature before it can emerge.

But Deyant and Mrinda have grown apart as Mrinda prepares for her wedding to Johnah. Mrinda has embraced her fiance’s faith, a faith that disapproves of the magical work that has been the focus of Deyant’s life. And Mrinda has another secret that she has not shared with her sister, a secret that could put them both in danger as they walk the paths that lead to the meadow where the forest spawn awaits its birth.

Will the sisters come together to defeat their ancient enemy? Or will Deyant’s anger and Mrinda’s secret bring disaster upon them both? Find out when you read this new fantasy short story by Jennifer Powell, a Clary Books presentation.

Review:
The recent surge in the popularity of fantasy literature has been, in my opinion, both good and bad. The good part is that the fantasy genre is no longer characterized as nerdy (I’ve even seen football players sporting “Team Jacob” t-shirts). The bad part is how formulaic so many of the stories have become. Fortunately, the plot of Powell’s story “Last Night” avoids formulaic pitfalls and is a truly original and enjoyable piece.

Powell’s writing is good, though not spectacular. Her literary voice has mastered the romantic poeticism that is popular with this genre of literature, favoring words like “shimmering,” “whispering” and “luminous.” Such language screams FANTASY in no uncertain terms, and if you like that kind of thing you will love this story. However, I would like to see more of an individualized voice from Powell, something that pushes
her generic fantasy jargon to the next level.

I would very much like to see more stories in this series. The complexity and compelling nature of the world the author has created provides the perfect springboard for prequels and sequels, and I say if you have a good thing going, keep it going.

3.5/5 stars
Reviewed by Aubrey Bennet

Buy this story on Amazon US or Smashwords.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks very much for the kind words, Aubrey, as well as the advice for future work. I appreciate that you took the time to read and respond.

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