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Perfections (2012)

by Kirstyn McDermott(Favorite Author)
4.48 of 5 Votes: 3
Xoum Publishing
review 1: Sometime around when I first started getting involved with the Australian spec fic scene, I told myself I needed to get my head above my comfortable reading parapet and venture to new parts of the imagination. I only half kept my promise. I never read or reviewed horror. That was because I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to descriptions of violence, bodily fluids and guts being slung about and also because I am an idiot. Good horror of course goes beyond such things.Last year at the Aurealis, I chatted with Jason Nahrung (an Australian horror writer) and told him about my horror reading conundrum. He told me, ‘Read Perfections. It is psychological horror and reads like literary fiction and even if you hate the horror, you’ll like the beautiful language.’ When Kirstyn... more’s novel was re-published as a physical print I took him up on his promise. I was not disappointed.I loved the language, but I also found myself enjoying more than that. From the big things like a story set firmly in Australia (I used to think the spec fic scene was awash with only European and American settings, which is true to an extent, but since writing myself I have found a lot of brilliant Australian writers with the seeds for their stories planted in parts of Australia. Kirstyn is another to add to the list), an outcast goth sister who I could relate to, hard truths about feminism, gender politics, sexuality and careers which didn’t make me want to murder the author and creepy plot twists that I didn’t see coming to the small things like an Emilie Autumn shout out (seriously guys, Opheliac is one of the greatest songs ever) and pockets of prose that sing like good poetry. This story has the added bonus of being accessible to both genre and non-genre readers, being planted firmly in the real world with relationship trauma and family ties and fractures explored, even as magic plays a part in the horror that unfolds.I really enjoyed this novel of dark desires and bitter spells and hope that I can find my kindle after a spell State-side so that I can download Madigan’s Mine and the Aurealis winning short story collection, Caution: Contains Small Parts also by McDermott.This review was originally posted at my writing and reviewing blog, Inkashlings.
review 2: The story of two sisters, one of who creates a mysterious new double of her ex-boyfriend in a moment of passion, and the consequences for both of them. There are some lovely ideas in here, and the magic has consequences. The characterisation is vivid, and both sisters are both likeable and well drawn. I thought the book lost momentum a little around a third of the way through, as pieces were set up and just seemed to cruise along. But then the author threw a few spanners into the works and suddenly all bets were off and the plot raced through to the end. There is a lot at stake and some powerful emotional moments. I only knocked a star off because I felt there was more in this book, somewhere, than what ultimately came out of it, for me as a reader. Whether that was the author's fault or mine, I don't know. It worked well as a tightly focused horror story, but I just would have liked that little extra resonance that I felt was just out of reach. That said, it's a great book. less
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This is one of my favourite endings of ANY book EVER :D That's all I'm saying, haha!
My review has vanished >:(I will type it again real soon.JUST READ THE BOOK.
Extremely nasty. And wonderful. Just read it.
Reviewed in Aurealis #76.
Full review forthcoming.
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