The Pigeon Summer by Brit Mandelo

The Pigeon Summer by Brit Mandelo
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Talking to ghosts has its dangers — and its rewards.

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I liked the fact that the characters in this tale were only identified by the initials of their first name. For example, the protagonist was J. and hir best friend was called C. Only having that one initial to identify these characters by made me pay close attention to every detail about their lives to see what clues I could discover about who they were and what their personalities were like. Knowing less about them than I normally might was a great incentive to come up with my own theories about all of the things the narrator didn’t say about them, so I’m glad this was written this way.

It would have been helpful to have more dialogue, either internal or external. Since J. was the only living human character, hir was the only one who could keep the plot chugging along when it wanted to slow down. I totally understood why J. didn’t want to speak at all in certain scenes, but it would have been nice for hir to give the audience just a few more clues about what was going on. If not for this, I would have chosen a perfect rating.

The paranormal elements of the plot were handled beautifully. This was no simple haunting, and scaring the audience definitely wasn’t the point of J.’s ghostly encounters. While I can’t say what the purpose of this plot line was without giving away spoilers, I will say that I loved it’s refreshing take on the afterlife and on the many different ways a person can be haunted.

I’d recommend The Pigeon Summer to anyone who is in the mood for a paranormal story that isn’t frightening in the least.

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