REVIEW: “The Truth As Written” by J. S. Rogers

Review of J. S. Rogers, “The Truth As Written”, Luna Station Quarterly 42 (2020): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Wow, this was an unexpected story from LSQ! It started off seemingly a cosy urban fantasy — two friends who like to shoplift together, a little shop full of magical items in a mountain village, a shopowner who is clearly a witch — but then shunted sideways into full-on horror. While what followed after that was to a large extent predictable, it was the sort of predictability that leads to a satisfying story: Everything turned out, in the end, the way it should. All in all, nicely constructed.

REVIEW: “A Promise of Apples” by J. S. Rogers

Review of J. S. Rogers, “A Promise of Apples”, Luna Station Quarterly 37 (2019): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

In this story set during the era of the potato famines in Ireland, 17-year-old Deirdre and her family are fighting starvation after all the crops have failed. One night when it seems that all hope of survival is lost, Deirdre finds herself following strange music into a vale of oaks, where she meets her greatest temptation: Food, freely offered and given. But can she trust the giver?

In the end, what matters is not whether faeries are to be trusted, but whether a faery-cursed fate is worse than living a life uncursed. Deirdre makes an impossible choice, and saves her family — and her whole village — by doing so.