Tag Archives: Isobelle Carmody

Metro Winds

This is a review of “Metro Winds” by Isobelle Carmody. It is an anthology of short stories.

I will give a mini review for each short story.

Metro Winds
A girl travels to her aunt’s house, to stay there while her parents are getting a divorce. Her aunt lives in a big city vastly different to her isolated oceanside childhood home. You’d think she’d be anxious or scared. She’s not.

She’s a strange girl. Always has been. Her mother is nervous of her. Her aunt doesn’t quite know what to make of her. She’s not like other people.

The city is very different to what she is used to. Her aunt delights in showing her around. She shows her The Metro. When they descend into the train tunnel, a gust of air buffets the girl and she swears she can smell the ocean…

But the city is nowhere near the ocean.

A vivid story full of rich imagery and surreal happenings. I quite liked it.

The Dove Game
Daniel is an Australian jackaroo. He has to travel to Paris to fulfill a promise he made to a foreign man. He is reluctant to go so far for a stranger, but finds he feels he must, as “it is the right thing to do”.

What he finds in Paris is nothing at all like he expected, and is far more bizarre than he would ever have imagined.

The Girl Who Could See The Wind
When Willow was 8 years old her father died. Her mother’s grief was boundless. After the death of her father, her mother becomes more and more preoccupied and obsessed with Willow’s safety.

When Willow is 10 she moves with her mother to a faraway country- it seems as if they have moved to the very end of the Earth.

Their new home is in a very strange place but Willow’s mother seems happier apart from a few instances of disquiet.

Eventually she remarries and Willow is gifted with a sibling- a sibling who is different just like her, but more so.

I enjoyed this short story. It reminded me very much of “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys in the beginning. While the ending felt a little disconnected from the beginning to me, I still really liked it regardless.

The Stranger
Case is a scriptwriter waiting at the airport. So far his life has not really been defined by any specific moment. He has existed in a space of neither great sorrow or great happiness. He has mostly been a watcher and an observer.

He sees a woman while waiting at the airport. She is like no-one when he has seen before. He feels he needs to see her again. While boarding the plane, he glimpses her in line for his flight- destination Santorini, where he hopes to finish his script.

He may finish more than that.

A tale from Isobelle Carmody I never thought I would get to see 🙂

The Wolf Prince
This is a short story about a mortal woman in Faerie, and her experience as a Princess Bride, a wife, a mother and a friend.

All I will say is that it really has to be read to be fully appreciated. I loved it and it is my favourite story in this book.

The Man Who Lost His Shadow
This short story follows a man, who-as the title suggests-has lost his shadow.

I found it quite interesting, especially at the beginning, because as a child, I distinctly remember being fascinated by that part in “Peter Pan” when he is chasing his shadow that is no longer attached to him. I would imagine my own shadow slipping free of me and going about it’s own business.

As a matter of fact, my childhood imaginary friend was actually the darkness. Not a person but the dark itself. Creepy huh?

I really enjoyed “Metro Winds”, another wonderful book to add to my Isobelle Carmody collection.

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Green Monkey Dreams

This is a review of the anthology “Green Monkey Dreams” by Isobelle Carmody. It is a collection of short stories. I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of this book for a long time, so I was so glad to find an ebook copy on Kobo!

I will give a mini review for each short story.

PART I: The High Path
The Glory Days
Set in a dystopian world, life is very different to what we know today.

Rian lives in the city of Freedom. She is asked to be an agent, to infiltrate another city: Glory. It is rumoured that they have been stockpiling old weapons, and weapons are illegal in this new world.

It is up to Rian to find out what’s been going on. Many adult agents have gone to Glory. None have returned. It is hoped that as a child, Rian will succeed where they did not.

Dark, with themes of religion, Armageddon and love, this is a powerful short story.

Roaches
A young boy is alone in a crumbling city. His only friend has perished. Taken and eaten by the jibbering Carnies, stupid and carnivorous humans driven mad by the Red Dust.

Will the boy ever find another like him to call friend? Or is he destined to be alone forever.

Touching and sad.

The Beast
Again, the world is a different place. A bleak place. The world has fallen into disarray. Factions warred against factions until there was almost nothing left.

There is a man. An old man waiting to die so he can escape “The Beast”- an affliction that has plagued his family for years and years.

A frightening and somewhat depressing short story.

The Lemming Factor
An interesting retelling of the much adapted tale “The Pied Piper”.

PART II: The Way of The Beast
The Monster Game
A story of the depression. A tale of hunger and fantasy.

Stories can help you escape from real life. They can protect you from the ugliness in the world. But what happens when a story is shattered?

Very moving and a bit sad.

Corfu
Matthew likes to ride to the bay, to stare out at the water and forget about his troubles. He feels he doesn’t belong. Not at home with his mother and brother. But on the bay he is at peace.

Here at the bay he finds new friends. Will his belonging come at an expensive price?

The Witch Seed
A girl travels back to her old neighbourhood to find answers (and a friend). She travels back in time through memories and fills us in on a story about her, her mother, her demanding grandmother, and a sad story of the occupants of next door.

Seek No More
Noah is a strange boy. He’s lived in Glastenbury, an orphanage for as long as he can remember.

He likes hanging out in the cemetery. He’s been picked on and bullied. Dare he hope for a happy ending?

The Phoenix
Ragnar has a friend called William. He calls her Princess and has sworn himself to her. Ragnar doesn’t believe William (he’s believed to be touched in the head) but sometimes his tale is so wondrous, it can be hard not to get caught up.

A new friend comes along. Worried that William will be made fun of, Ragnar is wary and stand-offish, but this newcomer is kind.

I liked this one 🙂

PART III: The Worldroad
Long Live The Giant
Forever is an old lady. She tells us a story so unlikely and strange that it would be easy to believe it was a lie.

But her story may make you think.

This one reminds me a little of the movie Prometheus.

The Pumpkin Eater
What does it mean to be a princess? Is it watered silk, glass slippers, princes, castles and kisses? What happens after the “happily ever after”?

A story about a princess who waits for her prince.

The Red Shoes
Amerie lives with her father. Her mother left them a long time ago. Her father thinks that Amerie doesn’t remember her. But she does.

She remembers a thin woman with feathers entwined in her dark tumbling hair.

But why did her mother leave? And why won’t Amerie’s father talk about her?

I liked this one 🙂

The Keystone
Do you believe in magic?

Gerhardt is in Las Vegas with his brother’s translator. An attractive, intriguing woman. Bizarre things begin happening after they spot a strange pair of foreigners. But their explanation of events is too weird for words.

Green Monkey Dreams
Jilia has a collection of dreams about- you guessed it- green monkeys.

A weird short story that propels you along.

All in all I enjoyed this eclectic collection of short stories. I adore Isobelle Carmody’s other works, and knew I would like her shorter works. I am glad I now own this book!

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Darkfall

This is a review of “Darkfall” by Isobelle Carmody. It is the first novel in The Legendsong Series.

Glynn and Ember are twins. But they are as different as night and day. Glynn is strong bodied, strong willed, practical, blonde and tone deaf. Ember is sick, weak, dreamy, red haired and a talented musician. They have made a lot of money by selling Ember’s music and are holidaying together in Greece. One night, Glynn goes swimming and is inadvertently transported to the parallel universe of Keltor.

Here she is rescued by wind walker Solen. Glynn fakes amnesia to cover up the fact that she knows nothing of the world she has found herself in. Solen has no choice but to take her home with him to Acantha. Here, Glynn works in a mine to earn enough money to find a way to get back to Ember who is dying of sickness. In her efforts to gain coin she is enslaved by the Draaka, leader of a religious cult. It is here that she forms a strong bond with a fienna, a small fox-like animal. This bond cannot be broken.

Ember however, in her effort to save Glynn (whom she believed was drowning) has crossed to Keltor as well. She is found by the soulweaver Alene and her two warrior guardians, the amazon myrmidons Feyt and Tareed. Ember actually suffers from amnesia. She does not remember anything. She forms complex relationships with Bleyd, protector of the mermod (heir to the throne of Keltor) and Tarsin the mad ruler of Keltor. Tareed believes Ember to be the Unraveller, a mythical foretold person from Glynn and Ember’s world who comes to Keltor to fulfill The Legendsong.

Can Glynn escape the clutches of The Draaka? Will Glynn resolve her complicated relationship with Solen? Will she discover that Ember is in fact on Keltor and not back home as she believes? Will Ember remember Glynn? Will she stay alive to be healed on Darkfall?

I love this book! It’s so complex and enthralling. As with many of her novels, Carmody really makes her readers delve for a deeper meaning in her work. The segues into plot lines from our own world are intriguing. It’s sequel “Darksong” is just as great, and I will be reviewing that shortly. I cannot wait for the last book in this series “Darkbane” to finally be released this year or next year. It has been a long wait!

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Alyzon Whitestarr

This is a review of the novel “Alyzon Whitestarr” by Isobelle Carmody.

Alyzon is an somewhat ordinary girl in a not-so-ordinary family. Her mother Zambia is an introspective artist, her father Macoll – a musician. Her sister Mirandah is obsessed with colours and her boyfriend Ricki. Her other sister Serenity wears black and prefers to be called Sybl. Jesse, her brother is kind-hearted, insightful and thrums with intensity. And her baby brother Luke is the embodiment of the love they all share for one another.

Alyzon suffers a severe blow to the head and is hospitalized. She falls into a coma for a month. When she wakes she is assailed by her senses which seem to have been painfully intensified by the accident. Every person she comes across gives off a distinct scent. This scent can change with worry, sadness or love. Alyzon finds it very overwhelming at first, and it takes her some time to recover to the point where she feels comfortable enough to return to school, where she will be surrounded by lots of people.

She returns to school. Her senses do overwhelm her at first, but she discovers that they provide her with an insight toward others and toward life. She becomes closer to her friend Gilly, and her school work becomes markedly better. However when she gets close to her crush, hottie Harlen, she is aghast to find that her senses find him to be utterly repulsive. Confused and curious as to why this should be, Alyzon sets out to discover the underlying cause.

She forms a fast friendship with Gilly’s circle of friends: Harrison, Raoul and Sarry. She also notices a darkness hanging over her sister Serenity. And Alyzon is suspicious as to why her Da suddenly attracts the interest of a mysterious music agent-like man called Aaron Rayc.

Can Alyzon figure out what the horrible smell of Harlen means? Can she discover what is wrong with her sister Serenity? Just who is this Aaron Rayc man? And what does he want?

I really enjoyed this novel. I love Isobelle Carmody, and “Alyzon Whitestarr” did not disappoint me. It is full of meaning, and is a novel that makes you think about the world in a deeper sense.

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Ashling

This is a review of “Ashling”, the third book of The Obernewtyn Series by Isobelle Carmody. It follows on from “The Farseekers“.

After rescuing a brazen gypsy woman from being burnt alive at the stake, Elspeth is informed that the woman must be returned to her own people or Obernewtyn, and Elspeth herself, will suffer the consequences.

Elspeth makes another journey to the Lowlands disguised as a gypsy and is accompanied by fellow misfits Matthew and wild-child Dragon, and her beast companions: horse Gahltha and cat Maruman.

The city of Sutrium where the gypsy’s kinfolk are believed to reside, is a dank and awful place. Gypsies, as wanderers in a land frequented by outbreaks of the plague, are not treated kindly, and Elspeth’s disguise becomes a dangerous one. Once the gypsy woman is returned to her people, Elspeth learns more about the gypsy culture and their history, and finds them to be more intriguing than she ever could have imagined.

Elspeth and Brydda (her rebel friend) begin a foray into the terrible world of slavers in an effort to discover more about this dark trade that deals in human trafficking. They suffer heart-wrenching losses as they attempt to learn more about the man who calls himself ‘Salamander’- the imposing and highly mysterious head of this black operation.

Elspeth enters into negotiations with the various Rebel Leaders from across the land, attempting to cement a place for herself and the misfits from Obernewtyn in the rebel’s plans for a revolution against the dreaded Council and Herder priests. But not all of the rebels are as accepting as Brydda, and Elspeth and her friends must prove their worth. They journey to the newly discovered foreign land of Sador, where they engage in the formidable Battlegames to secure their place in the upcoming Rebellion.

It is here in the exotic land of Sador that Elspeth learns more about her mythical quest to destroy the weapons from the Beforetime that created the deadly and cataclysmic Holocaust.

This book reveals more about the extraordinary powers wielded by Elspeth and the misfits, the prophecy that surrounds her and her mythical connection to the beasts of her world. It is engaging, action packed and deep. With many more pages than the first two books, this novel is a treat for the eyes and the brain.

PS. Did I mention that I love Isobelle Carmody?

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