Review: The Thin Places by Laura Cowan


My latest installment in a book review series loosely titled, “You Haven’t Read This Yet, but You Should.”

I’m not a fan of short stories. Reading a collection is usually worse than going out for tapas. I spend too much money to get a bunch of different items, none of them offer enough to satisfy, and I finish up the evening feeling irritated and still hungry.

Not this time. I mean, I want more, but only in the bestest of ways. I’m already looking forward to reading Music of Sacred Lakes.

I have no idea how this got onto my Kindle library, or when I put it there. That isn’t unusual. Any time I see a freebie (or someone recommends one) that looks interesting, I grab it. Eventually, I work my way down the next-to-read list to it. Sometimes I finish them, sometimes I don’t. If I like it, I write a review. If I don’t…I move on.

(Now you see why I worry about the lack of reviews for my own work? Silence is not golden. Silence is tactful condemnation.)

Anyhow. Back to the (Very Good, OMG GO BUY THIS) book at hand.

The Thin Places rocks the room.  Something about the writing reached out of the text and caught me. The stories and the way they’re told both remind me of Neil Gaiman’s early works, and that is no light comparison to make.  Magical Realism has been invoked in other reviews, so I won’t go on and on about the flow of sweet prose or the easy, unpretentious migration from real to unreal and back. The words speak for themselves.

Full disclosure: reviews of other books by the author also mention Christian fantasy and compare the author to Ted Dekker & Frank Peretti. I’ve read those authors. It’s an insult to Cowan, to compare her to them. That’s my not-so-humble, probably-going-to-hell opinion on the topic.  For all that the stories touch on the afterlife and spirituality, there is no preachy feel to the presentation and not a hint of condescension. Cowan’s spare, stripped-down style is as far above Dekker’s stilted prose as the sky is above the depths of the ocean. I honestly don’t care if this is or is not considered “Christian” fantasy. It’s good, and it’s lyrical, and it’s a delight.

Dare yourself to vault over the genre fences and take a walk on the supernatural side of the everyday. Stop to enjoy some beautiful stories along the path.

Available on Amazon here: The Thin Places