I admit I had the opportunity to review the headliner novel of this compilation as a beta reader. It was good then, but much better now. I really enjoyed The Underlighters. It’s a dark and horrific dystopian fantasy where nightmares take physical shape in the daylight. Within this cyberpunk-horror is an intricate tale of a young girl coming of age, learning she is strong and beautiful and worthy of love.
What surprised me to no end was the short stories following The Underlighters. Each tale is very different, some sad, some creepy, and some are imaginative retellings of old fables. The thin veil separating dream and reality is torn and scattered. These short tales are often bittersweet poetry, existential, with literary explorations of the human condition.
There’s something for everyone in this package, it crosses most genres of fiction. There’s a dangerously sensual tale of the party to end all parties, a woeful but inspirational tale of rape and forgiveness, and other strange musings of a very talented and diverse wordsmith.
Like a box of assorted gourmet chocolates, at least one flavor of Michelle Browne’s fiction sampler is guaranteed to suit your tastes.