Book: Vacui Magia by L.S. Johnson
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
L.S. Johnson delivers a provocative and original short story collection that ingeniously blends myth and nightmare. Whether it concerns the efforts of an infertile witch to construct a golem-baby, or a daughter’s quest to understand a father’s guilt and a mother’s supernatural infidelities, or a woman’s violent association with a group of possibly imaginary but nonetheless dangerous little men, each story in this remarkable collection demonstrates the limitless capacity of intelligent speculative fiction to enthrall, inspire, and amaze.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Vacui Magia is a collection of short stories that all have a magical element weaved throughout them. From how to create a golem to taking revenge. Each story is dark. Some are violent. Some are sensual. And you never quite know what is real.
In some cases I feel that they were beautifully executed, and did really make me think about what I had just read. But others felt rather confusing, and I had a harder time connecting to the story. They are all however thought provoking. Chances are that some of them will stick in your head for a while after.
The writing in this collection is very strong. She changes style in some of the short stories which made it harder to see in some what was really happening because our narrator was somewhat unreliable. But one is also written more in the style of a manual. It was interesting to see how the author played with this. And I am quite curious to see how this author would approach a longer story plot wise.
There is also a certain depth in the characters that not everyone can achieve in a short story. And that is quite the talent.