Saturday, April 19, 2014

Looking for Jake (Fantasy, Short Fiction)

Almost all the stories in Looking for Jake by China Miѐvelle are disturbing. While I enjoy Miѐvelle’s craftsmanship as a storyteller, I feel unsettled by the content of these stories. He is able to begin with what appears to be a relatively benign setting and add layer upon layer until the reader finds herself in the middle of a horror story. The horror is mostly physiological, with a minimum amount of gore. One story involves installing a vintage mirror, another involves a children’s play area in a furniture store—what could be more benign?— This is definitely not your “fairies going on a quest” type of fantasy. This is the type of fantasy that you don’t want to read before going to bed for fear of the nightmares you will have.

Looking for Jake drove me to reading romance novel to try to clear the images out my head. That said, I admire Miѐvelle’s ability to create something fresh, to weave a story, to invoke feelings in the reader, to build unique and convincing worlds. While I have little urge to read more by Miѐvelle’s, I feel intellectually enriched by what I read.

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