Friday, January 13, 2017

Short Fiction Friday: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

Jenna is one of the many ghosts who walk the streets of New York City. She died in 1972, before her time, when she ran away rather than face the grief of losing her sister, Patty. Since then she's spent her nights earning the time it'll take for her to reach her natural death day - the day she can return to Patty. See, ghosts can take time from the living. A few minutes, a few hours, a few days, or more, it pushes the ghost closer to their end and gives the living a burst of youth in exchange. Which is why ghosts have to watch out for those who would take advantage of that ability. 

Of course, they can give time too, so you don't piss them off!

Seanan McGuire is one of those authors who leaves me completely in awe of the seemingly endless worlds of their imagination! Zombie apocalypse, doors to fairy tale worlds, Symbogen, October Daye, Incryptid, and more, McGuire and her alternate author existence as Mira Grant are quite simply amazing. And the amount of work she's populated the reading sphere with is astounding! Her short stories alone seem to be almost countless and she's constantly releasing more.

Which, for a greedy little book junkie like me who also happens to be a fan, means plenty of reading material to keep me busy!

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day may be a small read but its world is so big! This latest novella features ghosts and witches. Ghosts who can take and give time and witches of every variation you can imagine - corn witches, steel witches, rat witches... Witches and ghosts are natural enemies in this world, with witches keen to take advantage of the fountain of youth ghosts can offer them. Jenna takes care around the witches of New York, the ones she knows of, but has yet to run up against any trouble.

Instead, she spends her days as a barista and her nights as a suicide hotline operator, in hopes she can help those who need it most.

But Jenna's quiet existence is shaken when the ghosts of NYC begin to disappear in droves.

I love the details of this world, the rules of the ghosts' existence and the witches' powers. The quiet links to folklore and burial traditions. And the subtle idea that the knowledge behind these traditions might be fading some. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day is fabulous!

Rating: 5/5

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