I’ve read Link’s work before and enjoyed it, so I was happy to see this book offered from Vine. One of the stories, ‘The Summer People’, I’d read before and I have to say it’s the best story in the book. A teenage girl is obliged to take care of vacation houses for people; clean the houses, buy their groceries and stock the kitchens, clean up after them. One of the houses, though, is home to some rather different people, people who need her to supply them with odd things and give odd presents in return. It’s a modern fairy tale.
The rest, sadly, I was rather disappointed in. They all have Link’s strain of weird, but they aren’t charming like a lot of her work has been. They are set in dreary, depressing situations. The people are at best boring and vaguely annoying; at worst, obnoxious- in other words, like regular people are when not having good days. Even the magic/fantasy components seem joyless. Teen age girls with crushes on full size animated dolls (who have no memory of who they were before), superheroes with crappy powers, aging daemon lovers, space crews who don’t know if they are alive or dead. Link’s fantasy world has turned dark.
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