For the Toll is returned to plough After a century of combat, Sown to a sea of blue-green waves Beneath which it lies drowned. And now, Stick nor stone of the old pavilion, Hook nor slat of the scoreboard left: Never an echo of tumbling children, Tattle of Edwardians, Knocking their pipes out on the rough deal benches. Foaming hawthorn and rhododendron Have colonised the field-edge, spreading Through copper beech and flowering chestnut And adventitious saplings. Where Is the camaraderie Of the side I played for so often here:. Their thunderous blows and heroical overs, The days that flowed with sun and wind: Stalemates in dismal drizzle, And the finger of death uplifted in the dusk?
I have failed to raise them By staring out at the level meadow As if I were Cadmus who had sown The dragon's teeth and awaited His armed men springing from the earth. But I did untangle my way Through the canopied darkness of what had been The boundary. Among the laurel bushes And snagging goose-grass and rabbit holes, I found what I'd forgotten, hidden Under a wide oak. For this. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Horror Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day , please sign up. Is this book as awesome, wonderful and amazing as her other series? I admit to poorly masking praise as a question Beth Roberts YES!!!! See 2 questions about Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 25, Emily Books with Emily Fox rated it liked it. One of the strangest book I've read in a while. I'll continue to read more of her books because they keep surprising me!
View 2 comments. Jul 29, karen rated it liked it Shelves: from-publisher-or-author , death-is-not-the-end. Once magic is real, nothing is entirely out of the question, which unintentionally sums up my resistance.
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View all 27 comments. In , Jenna dies in Mill Hollow, Kentucky as a young woman. Distraught o 3. Distraught over the suicide of her sister Patty, she runs into a stormy night in her nightgown and straight into a tragedy. Because Jenna died before her time, her spirit lingers on earth, eventually making its way to New York City where Patty had died. Since in this world, as imagined by Seanan McGuire, ghosts can be tangible at will during the day and pass as human, Jenna spends her days waitressing in a coffee shop and her nights as a suicide hotline volunteer.
Ghosts who die before their time are able to catch up to their fated time of death by touching living people and taking some of their time, leaving the human younger and fresher and the ghost closer to its fated time of death, when it can pass on to the other side. Then one day Jenna realizes that almost all of the other ghosts in NYC have disappeared, and her home town of Mill Hollow seems to hold the answer. Seanan McGuire does some nice world-building in this novel. In addition to the ghosts and the rules that both empower and bind them, there are humans with the power to see and even control ghosts: street witches, corn witches, water witches, and more.
McGuire also weaves in some old superstitions about ghosts, like the need to cover a mirror used by a person who has died, lest their spirit kill the next person who looks in the mirror. The stealing and giving of time by ghosts never made logical sense to me, particularly in the way it works at the end of the story. And how on earth could that one witch find the right mirrors to capture almost every single ghost in NYC?
View all 5 comments. Mar 14, Philip rated it liked it Shelves: releases , horror , fantasy , supernatural , novella , urban-fantasy , female-author. I think Seanan McGuire's greatest strength is her imagination and it's apparent in the worlds she creates. This novella is further evidence of that.
In less than pages she builds an interesting world of ghosts and witches with unique sets of abilities inhabiting Manhattan. Unfortunately that's also this book's greatest weakness. In less than pages she's busy building her wo 3. In less than pages she's busy building her world which only leaves like 20 or 30 pages of actual story. She somehow found a way to pull this off in the just-as-short Every Heart a Doorway, but seems to spend more time than necessary here on world-building and exposition leaving very little time for conflict or plot.
There's a much bigger story that could have been told and it feels like a missed opportunity. Other strengths: I don't usually love first person present viewpoint but in this case I feel like it helps us to understand and sympathize with our heroine, Jenna. She's an interesting, likeable, albeit dead literally, not a criticism character and the majority of the book is spent in thoughtful soliloquy reminiscing on past lives, present conflicts, and future wishes. As is typical of McGuire the prose is lovely. However, there's not a lot of the humor one might expect from her.
This is a bit darker in tone and subject matter, but it's handled well and ends in a good place.
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Apr 08, Bradley rated it really liked it Shelves: urban-fantasy , shelf , fantasy. A ghost who suicided is forced to work as an operator at a suicide help hotline. Sounds like a neat setup for a joke, right? The thing is, this UF is a ghost story where the ghost is just trying to get by, dealing in the coin that only she and her ghostly friends can spend Time and Ghosts. I guess Alan Moore has it right that we become creatures of the fourth dimension after we die!
All kinds of witches. Corn witches, Water witches Also cool.
It reminds me a damn lot of Angela Slatter's great fantasy stories, only a bit more accessible and mainstream. The personal small-town nostalgia is nearly as heavy as the pathos of the main emotional arc, and I'll be honest I probably would have enjoyed this more as a full novel with a longer, more developed end. Maybe not as a series, despite Seanan's proclivity with writing great series, but as a straight novel, I think this could have been a lot more solid and satisfying. As it is, I'm just fine with the end, I just think it might have been a tad less easy.
View all 3 comments. Shelves: books-read , marked-as-author-shrines , marked-as-short-fiction , genre-scifi-dystopias , marked-as-unowned , books-released , 4-star , favorite-characters , genre-mystery-suspense , marked-as-new-genres. They just go by so quickly. Seanan McGuire has a talent for finding hope in the darkest of places; in this case, death. Behind its mystery front story, this novella is a study in the family you find and in finding hope in death. Dusk or Dawn or Dark or Day is a compelling mystery about the disappearance of ghosts in New York, but honestly, what stands out here is the next-level worldbuilding, theme work, and character work.
Honestly, my feelings on this are very similar to my feelings on McGuire's earlier Every Heart a Doorway. Her worldbuilding is stellar. The idea of a city full of ghosts is brilliant, and the execution is even more detailed and clever; the ghosts age by taking life from others, and can give ti back, too, which is interesting. I'd love to read more from this verse.
Her writing and theme work is also a standout. There's a lot of content here focusing around the death of kindness in our current age, and the sadness of aging in a world that seems to have left you behind. Yet the book also never becomes a session of look-how-terrible-technology-is; the concept is touched upon, but this story is no PSA. As is also typical, I liked the characters.
I think McGuire is quite good at making her audience care about characters in a very brief amount of time and without too much description.
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With a vast and intriguing cast of side characters, this story feels as if it could really be taking place with this exact cast. There's so much great here, but if the ending had done just a little more - the themes come closer to the surface, the fascinating worldbuilding get more exploration, the character development take full precedence - this could've been a five. But despite my lack of full adoration, this was great, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a creepy and quick read.
Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube Jan 27, Robin Bridge Four rated it liked it Shelves: reads , bb-b , uf-pnr , ghosts , witches-warlocks-and-magic , buddy-read , shorts. Read with my lovely Wednesday UF read group at 3. Warning: This book touches on death and suicide. If these are trigger points for you then maybe skip it. The beginning of this is pretty dark. Jenna has just lost her sister to suicide only to right after get caught in a storm and die too.
Now in her death she volunteers her time at a suicide hotline as her own form of penance to her sister. She does a fantastic job of building a world with Ghosts and Witches in it in a very short time. I think that she is brilliant in the ways she interweaves the details of this world into the story without ever making it seem like it is an infodump and yet I get all of the great details I love in a book.
But I will say that once we get to Jenna trying to figure out what happened to all the other ghosts in Manhattan when they go missing the flow and feel of the story changes significantly and it is much less deep than the beginning. The ending was also really great and the best that it could have turned out for Jenna. I get in those moods and then this probably would have been a better read for me.
While it includes a significant number of urban fantasy elements, there is also a darkly profound, rather despairing thread running beneath its surface. Thematically it is also on the weightier side, dealing with topics like suicide, survivor guilt, and emotional trauma. Fans of Seanan McGuire are still going to love her engaging storytelling style and loveable characters, but if 3. Grieving with the loss and blaming herself, a stricken Jenna runs off into the night during a bad rainstorm and tragically slips into the river, drowning in the raging current.
When Jenna died, she found quite a hefty debt still on her record, so like everyone else before her who died before their time, she became a ghost and must remain among the living until that balance is repaid. Fast forward forty years, and Jenna is living in New York City leeching off a little bit of her debt each day on living strangers, with every minute she gives being another minute added to their youth.
Like I said, this is a story with some heavy, tragic themes to it, so it might simply be a case of the wrong book at the wrong time. Looking at this from another angle though, it clearly speaks well of the author that she can so successfully convey emotional impact with her writing and portrayal of her characters. My personal reaction to this novella aside, I can recognize a good story when I see one, and this has all the elements of an engaging tale full of imagination and feeling.
Jenna is a narrator with a unique perspective, yet the care and attention to detail paid to her backstory makes it easy to sympathize with her decisions when all around her are other ghosts that do not share her same views or values. Death is a theme that infuses every page, but sometimes its oppressive presence is lightened with compassion and scenes like that. The ideas in this book are also mind-bogglingly original. It took me some time to wrap my head around ghosts and their ability to give and take time, but I eventually came to appreciate the ingenuity behind the concept.
For a novella, the world-building is surprisingly robust. That said, there is no shortage of feeling, and at the end of the day I think the conclusion manages to achieve its desired impact. If this book sounds like something that might interest you, I highly recommend giving it a try. View 1 comment.
Feb 11, Phrynne rated it really liked it Shelves: books.
I only discovered after I finished this book that the author also writes as Mira Grant and that I have already enjoyed one of her books, Feed. I meant to follow up on her other books but forgot. I will now! Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day is an entertaining little book about ghosts and witches, both of which are depicted in rather different ways than the norm.
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The main character, Jenna, is a ghost who works on a suicide help line and keeps cats. Definitely not your usual ghost. There is some interesti I only discovered after I finished this book that the author also writes as Mira Grant and that I have already enjoyed one of her books, Feed. There is some interesting stuff about giving and taking time, a pretty good story about ghosts disappearing when they shouldn't and a satisfying little ending.
All very enjoyable and recommended to readers who like their ghosts less than horrific. Jan 17, Steven rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , urban-fantasy-paranormal. You can always trust Seanan McGuire to give you a great story. I loved the dedication in this one, and I think this novella was further evidence of Seanan's ability to weave a story, no matter the length, into a masterpiece.
View all 4 comments. OMG you guys I finished a book!!! This book was the epitome of short and sweet.
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It had horror elements but was not scary at all. Perfect for a quick read for anyone who enjoys dark fantasy. Every bit as bizarre in narrative and unique in concept as McGuire's Wayward Children series, but lacking the whimsy I so loved in the latter. Jan 29, Maria Dimitrova rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy , br-bbb , urban-fantasy , br-bbb , buddy-reads. Usually I love Seanan McGuire's book. She's an amazing author and her writing is incredible.
This book, however, was the exception to the rule. It's not a bad book, it just leaves you drained. That feeling is the reason why it took me so long to both read it and then put my thoughts in any semblance of order. This is a dark book, one that deals with suicide and how much it taxes the people closest to the person that took that way out of life. Maybe that wasn't the point of the book, because the majority dealt with a fairly standard mystery, but it was the thing that made the biggest impression on me.
Life is valuable and I can appreciate that now even more following a bad result from routine doctor's check up. During the time it took for the doctors to figure out if indeed I had what the initial results indicated, I not only realised how much more I want to do with my life but also that I've touched so many other lives. And that it would be those people who would have the hardest time if I was indeed sick. So the beginning of this book put me in a frame of mind that I was trying to avoid for months and it felt like a solid punch to the gut.
At more than one point I felt overwhelmed and wanted to just give this book up.