Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anthology Review: The Dark Woods

THE DARK WOODS is a bewitching collection of young adult short stories, ranging from science fiction and fantasy to paranormal, all featuring a lesbian heroine. This collection is part of Project Unicorn, a fiction project that seeks to address the near nonexistence of lesbian main characters in young adult fiction by giving them their own stories.

Stories by Sarah Diemer

Witch Girls (Dark Fantasy): The wild witch girls lurk at the edge of the woods, waiting to snatch away any girl who’s less than good. Gran’s warnings are the same every day: be good, or the witch girls will take you. But what if you want to be taken? Witch Girls is my favorite of Sarah’s contributions. The warning about the witch girls only made me want to be one of them.

Surfacing (Fantasy): When Alice’s brother John takes a mermaid out of the sea and drags her into the woods to die, Alice must find the courage to stand up to the worst bully she’s ever known in order to save a life. This was a sad but wonderful story. I’m always drawn to mermaids. So I thought this was a wonderful story.

Curse Cabin Confession (Paranormal): When Robin invites her girlfriend, Malinda, up to her family cabin for the weekend, it’s not just for a romantic time. Robin has a confession to make: she’s not exactly human. This was a fun short, but it’s not as memorable as most of the others.

Wolves of Leaving (Paranormal): After challenging the Alpha–and losing–Cadie begs the girl she loves to forsake all they’ve ever known and escape the tyranny of the pack. I really liked the ending to this one. It was a great story.

Devil May Care (Paranormal): When Corrine is forced to summon a demon to find a missing loved one, the afternoon turns stranger than expected. My other favorite of Sarah’s. This is one of the stories you won’t find online. It stood out, being more unique than the others.

Stories by Jennifer Diemer

A Craving (Fantasy): Snow knows little of the world, having spent most of her life within the safe confines of the cottage she shares with seven little men, her protectors. But every day, a young girl comes to the door, offering her an apple, and every day brings Snow one step closer to taking a bite. I love anything and everything based on fairy tales. Snow White is not one of my favorites, but the twist here was fantastic!

Natural (Paranormal): Terra feels confused and alone–until she meets a mysterious girl in the forest, standing next to her favorite tree… Possibly the most beautiful story in the group. As a pagan girl, I really enjoyed the magic here.

Haunt (Paranormal): Every moonrise, Tam and Ailsa defy the laws of time and space to meet in the forest and kiss beneath the stars. Haunt brought tears to my eyes. Another beautiful story by Jenn. But also sad. *sniff*

Dreaming Green (Science Fiction): Mirelle catches a mysterious seed during a spacewalk, and, though it is forbidden, she dares to plant it, nurture it, and let it grow. This was probably the most unique story in the entire group. It’s listed as science fiction, but it’s also very magical. A lovely story.

Mirrors (Fantasy): Bewitched by an old compact in an antique store window, Maisy is startled to realize that the reflection in the mirror is not her own. This is the other story not available to read for free on the site. This was my favorite of Jenn’s contributions. But, then again, I love anything with faeries.

You can download The Dark Woods from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords. Or, if you’d like a print copy of the first three months of Project Unicorn, you can get one signed from Sarah and Jennifer at Sappho’s Boutique.


Catherine said...

I really loved The Dark Wife, and I own another Sarah Diemer book. I will have to read this along with the other!

Selenia said...

I love that these stories contain so many different genres!!!

Midnyte Reader said...

I think it's great that this book is out there for young girls. And adults too!

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