Morning Mortals! Ready for another book review? I know I am! The Overneath was one of my honeymoon reads and it’s also one of the first short story compilations that hasn’t sent me into a bit of a reading slump so I have a lot of good things to say!
An odd couple patrols a county full of mythological beasts and ornery locals. A familiar youngster from the world of The Last Unicorn is gifted in magic but terrible at spell-casting. A seemingly incorruptible judge meets his match in a mysterious thief who steals his heart. Two old friends discover that the Overneath goes anywhere, including locations better left unvisited.
This is a collection of wonderful short stories, many of which deal with different interpretations of Unicorns which were the stories I liked the most. Not that I’m totally caught up in the pastel, iridescent unicorn trend, I like a unicorn that can do a bit of damage you know what I mean? That’s the kind of unicorn we have here.
I’ll confess I’ve never read any Peter S. Beagle before so some of the stories which link with his other work may have nuances that were lost on me, for the most part, however, you can understand what is going on.
What struck me about this collection is how Beagle can write different voices. Each story feels distinct and unique, you don’t descend into a monotonous drudge as some short story collections can do.
One of my favourite stories was that which gives the collection it’s name. The Overneath reminded me a little of the different Londons in V. A. Schwabb’s ADSOM series. I actually think you could conjure a whole novel out of the idea, but doubtless it would be phenomenally complicated so I understand why Beagle stuck to this format.
While some elements are reminiscent of classic folk tales, others smack of science fiction influences. The key element which unites these stories, for me, was the authors clear passion for them. Some ideas have been fermenting for many a year while others seem to have written themselves.
If this is an indication of the standard of Beagle’s work then sign me up to read some more! (Oh my poor TBR).
My rating: 4/5 stars
The Overneath publishes on the 7th of November so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!
By the way, I received a digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What say you? Do you enjoy short stories or do you need something beefier to get your teeth into?