Bittersweet pain conceals a deeper beauty.
I received Mirrors & Thorns through Our Write Side in exchange for an honest review.
10. Open Window by Lucy Palmer
Many dream of finding a perfect partner, but for one woman it has become a nightmare. Desperate to find darkness in him; she will feed her own.
Some stories can be told using only a few words, but it’s tricky. The key is to tap into the audience’s existing knowledge; use implications to take the story beyond the words on the page.
This story feels too large to be conveyed with such brevity. It’s too unique, too experimental. There isn’t enough time to answer all the questions raised by the narrative. It’s unclear whether what happens is literal or symbolic. Even the protagonist feels incomplete. Audiences may infer her motives, but they’d only be guessing. The concept is interesting, but more is needed.
+Strong Narrative Voice
A young woman searches for an equal, and stumbles upon a man who defies all expectations. But to bridle a sorcerer, she will need magic of her own.
Vague references frame the story like a fairy tale; conjuring up images of an old storyteller, surrounded by a captivated audience. Vivid descriptions paint a clear picture, while summaries gloss over most of the narrative. The few scenes that are shown come to define the story. Sadly, this also reduces the protagonist to her most defining characteristics; her beauty, and her pride. In the beginning it’s easy to sympathize with her, but over time her arrogance wears thin. She fails to recognize her own shortcomings, and instead insists on receiving her due. The story ultimately rewards her iron determination, but leaves her unchanged by the experience.
*Familiar fairy tale style
*Dominated by Summary
For generations people have questioned the existence of angels. Now they descend to earth, their only message a hollow roar as they plummet like stones. Most fled from their wrath, but not Bernard. Now he wanders the deserted towns and homes of the Midwest, searching for food, and answers.
The everyday tone and style offsets the otherworldly premise, rooting the story in the very human struggles of its characters. Mundane issues like food, safety, and relationships dominate the story, with the occasional reminder of the larger question of the angels. Gradually their mystery steps into the forefront, but the focus always remains grounded in the immediate issues of the characters. The significance of the angels is not ignored, but the author is wise enough to recognize that some questions cannot be answered within the scope of this story. Instead the narrative stops on a natural pause; with the characters ready for their next chapter.
Mirrors & Thorns 6of6