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Sonja Ska Reviews, 2/29/2024

Updated: Mar 9

Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations 

By Carina Bissett

Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations is visceral, violent, fierce, and strangely beautiful. Every story blurs nightmares and fairytales with the unflinching horrors of the real world. Bissett has a unique talent for breathing magic into old tropes, making ugly things pretty with this collection. She masterfully pulls you in with lyrical writing before flashing a fairly gnarly set of teeth. 

Weird fiction has always been my favorite, and while these stories are mostly grounded in reality, there's always an undercurrent of surrealism that leaves you off balance. It's the perfect foundation for a collection that introduces you to tired middle-aged women who have been turned into vampires, changelings trying to protect their golden sisters, and destructive young women pushing their boundaries with Godmother Death. While the genres may change from science fiction to gothic fantasy, the thread holding this collection together is the raw, unfiltered characters that are unapologetically themselves - even if that means they won't get their happily ever after in the end. 

My favorite stories are Rotten, The Stages of Monster Grief: A Guide for Middle-Aged Vampires, Dead Girl Driving, Gaze With Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead, and The Certainty of Silence, each story as beautiful sentences you want to pluck out of their grimy realities. But half the fun of this collection is sinking into the mud along with them. 

Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations for anyone who loves absurd, unsettling, and truly unique story telling.

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