Knopf Books for Young Readers
Reviewed by Nancy
5 out of 5 stars
Margo Lanagan's electrifying stories take place in worlds not quite our own, and yet each one illuminates what it is to be human. They are stories of yearning for more, and learning to live with what you have. Stories that show the imprint love leaves on us all.
If you think you don't like short fiction, that a story can't have the depth or impact of a novel, then you haven't read Margo Lanagan. A writer this startling and this original doesn't come along very often. So for anyone who likes to be surprised, touched, unsettled, intrigued, or scared senseless, prepare to be dazzled by what a master storyteller can do in a few short pages.
After being blown away by Black Juice, I was eager to read more of Margo Lanagan’s short story collections. So off I went to the library and found a lovely hardcover edition of Red Spikes, received by the library on October 16, 2008. It appeared to be untouched and I confirmed this by looking at the shiny cover free of finger smudges and listening to the crackling noises of its spine as I gently opened it, fanning its pages under my nose and sniffing so deeply it was almost a snort. Then I had a nearly uncontrollable urge to nibble the spine before I finally came to my senses and realized I was holding library property…
The stories in this collection are dark, unsettling and moody, and explore a variety of themes. Once again, Lanagan has succeeded in engaging the emotions of this reader by creating rich, imaginative worlds and believable young characters who struggle, learn and grow.
I recommend these stories for readers who love dark fantasy and smart young-adult fiction.