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Australian Spec-Fic Authors Challenge – September Round-Up

midnightWow, the year is almost over! I jumped ahead and did my October round-up early but then got carried away with other things and forgot to post up my September book (though I did complete the review on Goodreads).

So my September read for the challenge was Midnight and Moonshine by Angela Slatter and Lisa L Hannett, a collection of stories linked together by Norse Mythology following Odinn’s raven of memory, Mymnir, as she flees Ragnarok and the families that spring from the niche she created in the new world for herself.

This book is a double whammy since the glorious cover art is done by Kathleen Jennings, the previous president of my critique group. Or maybe that’s a triple whammy since both the authors are Aussie.

I loved how the stories shifted through time, travelling from ancient Norse mythology slowly toward some renaissance France and a good romp through the prohibition era in the bayou(that last one was one of my favourites).

The stories aren’t perfectly linear (though they are somewhat), more like puzzle pieces where you can see a little more of the whole picture with each one you read.

The only story I didn’t enjoy was ‘Of The Demon and The Drum’ and I know exactly why. I’m not against accents in dialogue (though I know people who won’t even tolerate that) but I can’t really handle it in narrative, particularly when it’s third person narrative. It makes the reading slow for grammar Nazis like me. I probably would have liked the story otherwise. But if that’s my only real complaint about the book overall I think you can feel pretty confident that this is a great collection.

My favourite story was Prohibition Blues, I loved the characters and the playful storyline. It was interesting to learn that this was the first story they wrote together and what birthed the whole book in essence.

The earlier stories have a great fairy tale feel which I really enjoyed. The massive cast of characters can be a bit confusing, but it wasn’t too severe.

I did have a few problems with the ‘ending’ story as well, (SPOILER ALERT) like how there was a weapon to face Mymnir with, but it was dropped and NOBODY picked it up again, it never got another mention. Even if one of the Gods had picked it up and used it… Some red herrings just frustrate me. /SPOILERS

All up though the book is great fun and has a wide range of interesting tales, definitely worth a read.

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