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Margo Lanagan

Allen and Unwin (2012)

ISBN: 978-1-74237-505-2

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Rollrock Island is a remote fishing community of honest, hardworking folk; simple, down to earth, but with a strange history that is about to come about full circle. Misskaella finds within herself a power that has not been seen on the island in several generations, the power to call forth people from the skins of seals. Her ability will change the island and its inhabitants completely, bringing about a new era of sea-wives on Rollrock.

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Margo Lanagan

The Lost Shimmaron, book 2

ABC Books (2007)

ISBN: 978073332079

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack (this review was first published in January 2008)

The Singing Stones is volume two in a seven volume series of children’s novels. Each novel is written by a different, well-known, Australian author, and each novel tells a different story of a Shimmaron’s search for rescue. The Shimmaron are energy beings who crash landed on Earth a long time ago. The force of the crash scattered them through time and across different worlds. Disguised in different forms, they call to the children of Amethyst to help them reunite in Lake Shimmer. Only when enough of the Shimmaron have gathered there will they be able to rebuild their ship and escape Earth.

In The Singing Stones, Lawrence and Jean are swept away by a willy-willy while fossicking for rocks with their grandfather, and find themselves in the land of Scintillon. The land runs on the power of magical jewels, and parts of it are being devastated by the thefts of jewels by the ruthless Rose twins. Lawrence and Jean slowly come to realise that in order to do what they have been called to Scintillon to do – rescue a Shimmaron who is disguised as a power jewel – they must also defeat the Roses and save Scintillon itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Margo Lanagan

Allen & Unwin (2006)

ISBN: 9781741750911

Reviewed by Kathryn Linge (this review was first published in April 2008

I come to this collection with certain prior knowledge of Margo Lanagan and her successes, but no actual first-hand experience. And the prior knowledge is weighty, including a World Fantasy Award for Best Collection and a World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction (for “Singing My Sister Down”)*. From that respect, I am pleased to say that I don’t think there are any poor stories in this collection. Each is well-written and readable. However, neither did I find these stories particularly gripping. Indeed, a couple of weeks after reading the collection I find very few stories have stuck in my mind and I find it hard to picture some of them without rechecking the first few paragraphs. The stories are good, but I did not find them great.

Although I am only reviewing Black Juice here, I did in fact read all three of Lanagan’s collections one after the other, in chronological order. In terms of the writing, I think Black Juice stands right in the middle, where it chronologically belongs. White Time reads like a first story collection, although it was also the collection I most enjoyed. With each collection Lanagan’s writing becomes more developed but also perhaps more abstract and more stylised. I found the stories in Red Spikes too abstract to connect with. Read the rest of this entry »

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