Dead Girls Don’t Love is a collection of poignant tales for the outsider in all of us.
This collection from Hans wasn’t chilling, nor was that the apparent intention. Rather, these fantastical tales contained bits of fright adjusted to the lore it spun around. Traveling from Haiti to Russia to space, to the future and the imaginary, Hans has a seemingly boundless imagination for plot and setting. For the large portion of the anthology, the tales felt adventurous.
Hans storytelling felt natural. Her descriptions of characters were also fluid and didn’t come off as forced. I noticed a lot of her female characters were written without the “bad ass leader” treatment. The women didn’t have to be strong or cocky or better than the male characters to be valid, important aspects to the story. They were simply normal, vulnerable women and that what was so refreshing about them. The integration of minority characters wasn’t trite in the slightest either. The author didn’t strive to make their presence painfully obvious and their stories weren’t cookie-cut.
Some stories interested me more than others, especially the more macabre (The Cold Earth and Alive in the Wolf’s Belly). The scale of genres within the collection is vast and may not appease a horror driven reader. Those who enjoy fantasy and science fiction are sure to savor. Being so short in length, the individual stories really had to fight for an exposition to get an acceptable payoff at the end.
The tone was conversational; these stories were meant to be read aloud. Not necessarily around a campfire in the middle of the woods, but just aloud. The majority of them would adapt well into short films. A lot of her characters had that same voice and they were simply reliving another life in another story. The syntax is appropriate for any type of reader. Readers may stumble over a few places/foreign words related to the story but sound it out and let the reading roll on.
The stories I connected the most with were the ones with female protagonists dealing with hardships. These characters were dealt pretty lousy cards in life and while some faltered, they told their stories with their chins held high, so to speak. Others admitted their weaknesses but continued on despite their fears and the outcome. These stories in particular demonstrated that there’s still light despite days, or even years, of darkness.
With surreally crafted settings and exploring themes of self-discovery, loss, and acceptance, Dead Girls Don’t Love is a charming tome for those seeking a unique world to start their own journey in.
Pick up your copy of Dead Girls Don’t Love here and be sure follow Sarah Hans on Twitter @steampunkpanda and on Facebook.