[REVIEW] The Crow’s Gift (And Other Tales)- by Sonora Taylor

I have found these short collections to be very useful in finding new favorite authors in the indie community. If it only takes you a couple hours to check out a release, you’re more likely to give a new writer a chance you wouldn’t give if they only had long novels available for introduction. As such, I have found a slew of unknown authors I intend to follow from this point forward.

Sonora Taylor is one that caught my eye with the promotions of her latest collection, Little Paranoias. But rather than request an ARC for review, I decided to use my Kindle Unlimited membership to see if she had anything already available (that way I could decide if I wanted to pursue her new work or not). I immediately found the four-piece collection, The Crow’s Gift, which was released several years ago. The other night, I sat down and gave it a quick read.

Though I wasn’t blown away by it – some of the writing felt too easy and some of the dialogue made me roll my eyes – there was enough imagination here to put Sonora on my watch list. The first story, “The Crow’s Gift,” was easily my favorite. I would have loved to see this story expanded upon. It reads like that kind of horror fueled by magic, the kind that made Coraline and The Monster Calls so popular. I also enjoyed the way “I Love Your Work” played out, even if it wasn’t one of the stories that felt too simple in its writing. “I Never Knew Your Name” was sadly forgettable, and “All the Pieces Coming Together” staggered in its dialogue. The characters, however, would have been enjoyable to explore further.

Despite its shortcomings, Sonora Taylor did do enough here to get my attention. I will seek out more of her work in the comings months, and maybe even pre-order Little Paranoias. I feel like there’s something great just bubbling beneath the surface of what I’ve seen thus far. – by Andrew Redman

3.5 out of 5

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