This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (Goodreads, B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Tania Staley for Readers' Favorite
The Loved, the Lost, and the Dreaming, by Michelle Browne, is an exploration of what it means to fear. Her horror anthology takes readers to vastly different landscapes and societies. In The Underlighters, the first story in the collection, and easily a stand-alone novel, Earth’s survivors have been forced to move underground, living in darkness to protect themselves from the dangers of Dust. It is a story of survival and unconditional love in the midst of danger and tragedy. Some of her other stories seem to be inspired by fairytale lore. In The Undine, a prince marries a beautiful water nymph, who agrees to love him as long as he follows a few trifling conditions. In “Lyre,” a magical lyre has been cursed to live as a human for refusing to play for an evil witch, but with the help of new found love his curse may soon be broken. Finally, in some of her tales, such as A Shot of Vodka, horror is to be found from within, residing in the memories we can’t escape, and danger lurks in the guise of those we trust the most. All of these stories have one common theme: they teach us that no matter our background, gender, status, sexual preference, or age, we all feel fear and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is what we do with our fear, whether we turn and hide or strive to overcome it, which decides our fate.
This is a fun, adventurous, and thought-provoking collection of stories. I truly admire Browne’s well-rounded characters and her open-mindedness about the world and the various beliefs and attitudes of people. While the journal format narrative is at times slightly far-fetched, the vulnerability this form creates more than makes up for this. In my opinion, it is in her longer tales that Browne’s true abilities shine. Given the space to allow her characters to grow and evolve, her stories reach a definitive and more satisfying conclusion than a few of her shorter works in the collection. Overall, this anthology was quite enjoyable, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting something different from your average shock-factor horror stories.