Book Review

Dreams of Distant Shores – Patricia A. McKillip

Book Title: Dreams of Distant Shores


Author:Patricia A. McKillip

Amazon Link: Click here


Star Rating: gold stargold stargold starempty starempty star – Good book. Recommended.

Disclaimer: I received this free book from NetGalley in exchange for an un-biased review.

Paticia McKillip is described as a lyrical fantasy writer. In looking up information on her I found that she is very prolific, an award winning author with MANY well-received books to her credit. Why haven’t I ever heard of her before? It’s a pity. She reminds me a lot of Peter S. Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn. There’s something about her atmospheric style and the grace she writes with. It’s lovely. Dreams of Distant Shores is a book of short stories, seven of them in fact. I’m not a big fan of short stories but I did enjoy these. I’d like to briefly talk about three of them.

  1. “Alien” – This is the story of a small town grandmother who is abducted by aliens. She happend to like it very much thank you, and would like her family to butt out and let her go back.  I found it very amusing.  A fun small story.
  2. “Something Rich and Strange” – This was the longest story of all seven.  It was weird and wonderful. Full of imagery and symbolism. The old gods and men just should not mix!
  3. “Weird” – This was my favorite.  It’s just a little bit of a story.  Two people sitting on a bathroom floor sharing their memories of the weirdest thing that has ever happened to them.  All in an attempt to pretend that the monstrous weirdness outside the bathroom door is not threatening to come inside. I loved it!

I don’t really want to talk too much about the rest of the book or go to far into the stories I mentioned.  They are too short to start playing with and inadvertently spoil them.

I think what impressed me most was the way she described her settings, her characters and the atmosphere.  It was misty and mysterious, bright and colorful, modern, current and completely otherworldly.  I know those things seem as though they are contradicting one another but what I mean is that her writing is layered. Standing on the beach with your toes in the sand, sun in your hair and the feeling that another dangerous world has opened up behind you. So don’t turn around. Whatever you do, don’t look! She mixes modern day life with old world fantasy in beautiful ways. Her story “Something Rich and Strange” opens with a quote from The Tempest by Shakespeare which is very apropos…

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made: Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

This is a book full of the “rich and strange”. If you like fantasy you will probably like this book.

Song for this book:  It really needed something with normal lyrics but weird mood.  Wonder Woman, Wonder Me by Kishi Bashi is perfect!



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