Both of these stories were interesting in different ways. Both are fantastical things set in modern times but Urchins… has a darker feel, a more individual story that focuses on the conflict one person has and the discovery and change she has to go through. Set in post-war Russia the atmosphere of the story is dark and mysterious and unrelenting. Urchins…, has the benefit of being written by one of my favorite authors, Catherynne M. Valente who wrote the amazing Orphan’s Tales duology and her way with words and her love of them is in full display in the story.
In Blood… the conflict is more of a constant worry for some people in that world, it also has political leanings, by which I mean there’s political activism focused around the conflict. I also found it interesting that the story was focused on a male, it was interesting because we as a part of Western society don’t really think of men in those terms without judgment. Virgin for men is an insult and for women a virtue according to the dominant paradigm and it was and interesting to see this represented in the work. I could deconstruct this more but I don’t want to ruin the story. Blood… is by David Barr Kirtley, who I’ve never read before but the idea and execution of the story really kept me interested which is a feat when there’s a male protagonist (usually the only things I read have a female main character, but that’s an essay for another time).
Anyway, check them both out and let me know what you think.