The sea has encroached far into the United States, leaving pockets of people fighting for survival along the newly defined coastline. Mir lives with her parents and her baby brother, but something’s not quite right with her new sibling. Meanwhile, sightings of strange sea creatures on land have the coastal folk worried, almost driving a local school teacher to suicide. Jersey, Mir’s best friend urges her to join him in seeking a better life inland, but there’s no guarantee that things get better away from the ever-invading ocean.
I want reassurance. I want him to hug me against his chest and tell
me not to be silly, no way will evolution conspire to do in the human
race, but instead a weird elation illuminates his swarthy face and
his eyes glow with the radiance of stars.
Sweetlings is a free short story from Tor, and can be read online here.
For the short length of this story, it sure delivers a lot. Lucy Taylor weaves a captivating and horrifying story that hooked me from the first paragraph. In the few pages they occupy, Taylor’s characters come to life in all their glory and gore. There were a couple of clichéd pieces of dialogue in the beginning but Taylor soon finds her footing and the narrative goes from strength to strength. Sweetlings can be read in less than thirty minutes, but it packs in so much that it almost feels like a full length novel. The story creeps under your skin and nests for a while. I can’t wait to read more from Lucy Taylor.
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Read for the NEWTs Magical Readathon. Class: Charms. Grade: E.