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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Nightmare #58, July 2017

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Nightmare #58, July 2017

Promises of Spring” by Caspian Gray

And With Her Went the Spring” by Caroline Ratajski

Reviewed by Valerie A. Lindsey

Promises of Spring” by Caspian Gray opens with Cody asking his high school friend, Tay, to help him stop some high school kids from summoning the witch that granted three of them their desires during a bloody ritual. Gray illustrates the high cost of making wishes without understanding how high the true cost will be. Fortunately, the one who suffered the most is able to make the best wish of all. However, this story would have been far stronger with less switching between years. I think taking the reader to the past only twice would have resulted in a more effective story.

Caroline Ratajski’s “And With Her Went the Spring” captured my interest from the first evocative sentences. The story seems to open as you would expect with grieving parents and an outraged town, but it soon becomes more. The story moves smoothly from what happened to the viewpoints of the boy and the dead girl. The missing girl refuses to accept her fate meekly and becomes a retributive force for herself and all the girls before her.