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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review: Waiting for Midnight by Merrie Destefano

From the author of Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles comes a collection of 16 short stories, full of the rich prose and plot twists that have become Destefano’s trademark. Written to keep you reading all night long, this combination of short stories and flash fiction contains a ghost story, a werewolf story, and a science fiction story, as well as two stories that feature characters from her novels, AFTERLIFE and FEAST. This collection is approximately 70 pages long.

Short stories included in this collection:
Set on an alien world, “Letters from Home” tells the tale of a mother’s love for her wayward son and the great lengths to which she’ll go to rescue him from another dimension.

“Learning to Hunt” features Ash, the Darkling dream-eater introduced in Feast: Harvest of Dreams, as he explores seventeenth-century Amsterdam, where his father teaches him how to harvest dreams.

“Waiting for Midnight” explores that dangerous territory between first love and obsession, all set in Primrose Wood, a forest where dark magic rules.

This is a collection of dark and melancholy stories. What I found interesting was the different points of view in the stories; they aren’t the normal kind. I can’t tell you about them because discovering who or what is telling the story is part of the experience. I wouldn’t call it horror, but it does take you to some dark places of the human mind and soul.

I really enjoyed the short stories featuring the heroes from Merrie's two novels, Afterlife and Feast. "Learning to Hunt" shows Ash, the hero from Feast, as a young Darklyn learning to harvest dreams from his father. The writing had the same haunting fairy-tale like quality I loved so much in the novel. "Chasing Spring-Heeled Jack" will give you a feel for her novel Afterlife and the world she created where people can download their selves into clones to extend their lives. Chaz, the main character from Afterlife, is tracking down a clone and comes up with a macabre way to trap him. Feast and Afterlife are very different in tone and style and show the diversity of Merrie's writing. Her two short stories are a great way to sample what she has to offer.

My favorite short story is "Letters from Home", it is about what lengths a mother will go to for her child. A science fiction tale with a bitter sweet ending.

The flash fiction pieces are like a snap shot or a single scene. They don't have a real beginning or resolution; just open a window into someone's soul. Some of them I enjoyed more than others and one, "Chiroscuro", I didn't understand at all, and yes I even looked up the definition of "Chiroscuro" <G>

If you enjoy dark short stories and looking for something a little different then give Merrie’s collection a try.

4 "macabre" Sheep

SharonS (edited by BAK)

Merrie Destefano
Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.

I'm excited to tell you about my latest project: A young adult, post-apocalyptic short story titled, THE PLAGUE CARRIER, available FOR ONLY .99 on Amazon.
Condemned as a runaway and sentenced to work as a Cleaner, fifteen-year-old Anna now spends her days searching for valuables in a field of dead warriors. Her life goes from bad to worse, however, when she stumbles upon a plague carrier, a boy her age who could kill her entire camp with a single drop from the flask he carries around his neck.


  1. Sharon, Thanks so much for the amazing review! I really appreciate it. =)

    Also, since you mentioned Chiroscuro, I thought maybe I should explain what it was's a piece of flash fiction about an artist who kills his muse while they are both doing drugs. It's also a metaphor for how far an artist will go to create his/her art.

    Thanks again! You and Katie and I Smell Sheep rock!!


  2. WANT!!!! Merrie is such a fantastic writer. I seriously can NOT wait to get my paws on this. Or hooves...