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Month: April 2018

Review: Things That Happened While We Waited for Our Magical Grandmother to Die

Review: Things That Happened While We Waited for Our Magical Grandmother to Die

Originally Posted at Tangent Online, April 30, 2018

“Things That Happened While We Waited for Our Magical Grandmother to Die” by Kuzhali Manickavel

If you’re looking for a story that’s easy to get into with likable characters and a clear structure, don’t read this story. Manickavel takes you through a day/week/year/decade in the life of an unnamed narrator who—if this isn’t a magical carnival of horrors—is clearly mentally ill. The central plot revolves around a woman named Mythili and her quest to finally leave a house that is both prison and home.

This isn’t an easy story to read, but the further you get, the less able you are to stop. It sucked me in like a blind riptide by the end; I tried to stop and couldn’t. I’m not sure if you’ll find any deep meaning in Manickavel’s story, or even any redeeming characters, but it’s surely worth the short read if only for that sense of wonder it deviously hooks in you.

Review: The Grandmother Paradox

Review: The Grandmother Paradox

Originally Posted at Tangent Online, April 30, 2018

“The Grandmother Paradox” by Wendy Nikel

Sometimes your future depends on saving the past and breaking some rules. Wendy Nikel’s novella, “The Grandmother Paradox,” is Book Two in her A Place in Time series. We follow Chandler as he’s recruited by Dr. Wells to go back in time and protect his savior from Book One, Elise, from being wiped out of existence by TUB—the Trial Undertaking Bureau—agents targeting her great-great-grandmother. When Chandler arrives in 1893, he has one task: protect Juliette Argent from time-traveling assassins. However, the more he gets to know Juliette, the more difficult he finds it is to keep emotional distance. Nikel provides a wonderfully detailed snapshot of life in the late 19th century, replete with colorful side characters and historical nuggets that bring the scenes to life.

Overall, it’s a simple tale, which seems counterintuitive when viewed through the lens of time travel paradox. “The Grandmother Paradox” stretches itself on romance splendidly, but, I believe, fell a bit short as the climax begins and ends quite suddenly for a story this length. Where it shines, however, is in the period descriptions and is worth the read if only for