Emma Newman “Brother’s Ruin” (Tor.com, 2017)
When I think of Dickens, I think about how harsh the world of his books seems. It’s a world with no mercy, and often few real choices.
What Newman does here is continue that sense of harsh civic reality, only add magic to the mix. The magic doesn’t seem to change the world for common people, it only adds to the hazards and trials of life in that time.
I realize that I’m adding to the context of my reading. And unfortunately, what I’m adding in 2017 only adds to the grim reality of this novella. With any remaining social safety net being rapidly cut away, it feels like this grim reality is only all too close for thousands of Americans.
And here’s where Newman’s skill as an author comes to play. She has created a world so real and rich that I found it preying on my own anxiety. As such, this is a very well done piece that I did not enjoy. As always YMMV.
Thanks to Tor.com & Netgalley for a review copy.