Book Review: Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson

23846151Falling in Love with Hominids presents over a dozen years of Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print. Her singular, vivid tales, which mix the modern with Afro-Carribean folklore, are occupied by creatures unpredictable and strange: chickens that breathe fire, adults who eat children, and spirits that haunt shopping malls. (Synopsis from Goodreads.)

Originally published on the Portland Book Review.

Rating: 8/10

Overall Impression: A great collection of fantasy short stories by a highly talented and imaginative writer.

Recommend to: Fans of fantasy short stories and fantasy in general.

Inspired by a rich array of Afro-Caribbean folklore and her vivid imagination, Hopkinson has managed to mix reality with the fantastic in a way that sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish between the two. Her diverse cast of characters and masterful weaving of the new and the familiar catapults the reader into a new world with every story while also giving us a new perspective on this thing we call life.

Hopkinson is a master storyteller. The prose is engaging and unique, making reading these stories a true pleasure. Every character has a distinct voice, adding yet another layer of realism that makes it difficult to not get attached. The diversity of her characters is also a refreshing aspect of this collection since most of her characters are people of color and many are LGBTQ, both under-represented groups in the fantasy genre.

There is something for everyone in this collection. Hopkinson manages to make a reader’s skin crawl in one story and smile in the next. It’s a mixture that keeps you reading just to see what she will come up with next. A great collection from a highly imaginative and insightful mind, Falling in Love with Hominids is a must read for fantasy and short story fans.

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