REVIEW: “The Gilded Swan” by Damon L. Wakes

Review of Damon L. Wakes, “The Gilded Swan”, in Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson (JayHenge Publications, 2017): 357-359. — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

The opening line “Once upon a time” never fails to exercise its power to thrill over me. I love fairy tales. I love the way those words tap into my entire reading history, and allow the story to draw upon decades of internalized expectations. I love the familiarity of fairy tales that is rooted in those expectations. I love it when my expectations are satisfied, when every aspect of the story could have been found in any of the classic fairy tales.

But what I love even more is when those expectations are dashed, and happily ever after turns horribly ever after. This was a delightfully satisfying little fairy horror tale.

REVIEW: “Demon in a Copper Case” by Damon L. Wakes

Review of Damon L. Wakes, “Demon in a Copper Case”, in Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson (JayHenge Publications, 2017): 135-137. — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

When times are hard, heresy no longer seems like such a bad idea. The people of Singstoat are suffering from a decline in industry, and many people are debt-ridden and struggling. In such a context, the temptation to call upon the demon in the copper case is too strong to resist…

This was a fun little story, quickly told but with plenty of detail and characters. It’s a classic plot line but there is something satisfying in reading a good retelling of an old tale.