Review of Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield


In a word, gorgeous. In more words, the supernatural aspects really appealed to me (which Ms Stansfield handled expertly), but I also loved the balance of rationality, the focus on facts, which kept everything uncertain, unfinished, nothing neat and tidy, which I prefer, because this mimics life. I felt as though I was a person in that world, where superstition and fancies held people far more under its sway than they could possibly do today, which just highlights the author's talent at bringing a modern day reader into a world far flung from our own reality. I continually had doubts what the truth was, felt real fear and of course revulsion at the terrible things Charlotte was capable of doing. I hated Charlotte's narcissism, but at the same time I pitied her. Was she really some sort of self-taught shaman or was she just really good at the power of suggestion. Her rawness, her vulnerability, her ability to catch people in her thrall, there was just something so appealing, yet revolting about her. I felt the author crafted her powerfully through Shilly's eyes.

Shilly I loved for her voice. She's a character with many layers, yet none of them are the same, you just keep peeling and discover more depth. She very interesting to me because she is so matter-of-fact, straight speaking and yet in many ways she's extremely uncomplicated, she's the perfect foil to the complicated and deceptive world the reader finds oneself immersed in.

I loved this book, which I read in less than 24 hrs. I loved everything about it, the page-turning momentum, the unputdownableness of it, the world, even though it was grim, was intoxicating, like escaping in a time machine to another place where the rhythm of life is nothing like we can imagine. I wanted to stay there, by the fire with them, I don't know why, I just did and so long as I had this book in my hand and I was reading their story, I was there, with them.

Brilliant, addictive, poetic, gorgeous.