Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water
A woman and one companion are trapped in an endless labyrinth that seems to have no exit. Or are they? When the woman escapes, leaving her companion behind, has she found freedom?
I’ve been hearing the name Vylar Kaftan for years, it seems like, but never read of any of her work. So when I saw this novella available, I thought I’d pick it up. It’s fine, if not particularly inspired.
It’s generally well written, though the prose is choppy in places. However, there’s not that much to the story that’s new. The basic concept – a psychic prison – is very familiar, and Kaftan doesn’t do much with it that’s innovative. The middle of the piece is long, slow, and repetitive, and likely this would have been better off as a short story. Instead, however, it reads like an excerpt or introduction to a longer piece. The strongest aspect of the piece is its characters, but ever there, the narrator feels very self-involved, without too much interest in others – while constantly bemoaning her effect on others. The end is pretty muddled.
I can’t say I’m sorry I read this; I’m glad to at last have a sense of Kaftan’s skills. But there’s nothing about this story that would make me search out another of Kaftan’s books.
18 May 2019 Science fiction | Vylar Kaftan |