02 May 2015

Review: Dreams of Shreds and Tatters

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters
Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm probably at the point right now where if a book is described as Lovecraftian in any way, I'll probably take a flier on it. Dreams of Shreds and Tatters is a book that's been on my radar for a while, and, while it's more Lovecraft-adjacent than anything (given the Chalmers/King in Yellow inspiration), it does do one thing exceptionally well, and that's instill the sense of dread that Lovecraft was so good at and modern Mythos literature often forgets.

The plot is fairly straightforward, with a woman and her vivid dreams and a comatose friend who is basically under the thrall of The Yellow King. The story is a balancing act between the real and the supernatural, and is just unsettling from beginning to end in a way that just makes a lot of things work.

I wish I had more to say about the book. It's a light story (when it's described as Lovecraft without a lot of the excess, the slimness of the story and the lack of excess fat in the plotting is really what's being described) and the way things go are just worth it for the ride. While the dread was there, my investment in the story, on a whole, was not in the way it was for a lot of other stories. I felt like I was more watching a film or observing as a third party, which is not always my reading experience.

Overall? Horror fans who like the sort of Weird Fic balancing acts that are so popular will find a lot to like here. Chalmers fans should definitely check it out as well, but if you're looking for something scary or more splatter-style, this might just not be your cup of tea. Not for everyone, but if you read the synopsis and think it sounds interesting, you're likely to enjoy.

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