Review by Erdwolf_TVL
Eldin is a solitary prospector, living at the edge of a small town. He spends his days in the dark tunnels of an old mine, digging up precious stones and metals to support himself as he hunts for an elusive vein of gold.
One day, two orphans arrive at his door. They have no idea who they are, nor where they come from. The sweet red-head he names “Vixy,” and her grey haired compatriot, he names “Spider.” For lack of a better explanation, Eldin concludes they are sisters. Attempts to reunite them with their parents prove futile, and Eldin eventually adopts them and raises them as his own.
The novella follows a journey of self-discovery for these two girls, spanning approximately fifteen years. Whereas Vixy embraces her new life and father right from the outset, Spider grows distant, jealous and miserable. Evil. She gravitates towards dark magic and eventually reveals herself to be something much, much more sinister than just a little girl lost in the woods.
This is a transformation story that uses rural America as a backdrop. (SPOILER ALERT): Eldin is a good father, but he remains ignorant to his daughters’ strange abilities until right at the end, when Vixy shows her mettle and uses her newfound abilities to save him from her sister’s clutches. (SPOILERS CONCLUDED)
There are parts that are touching. The love and warmth between Vixy and Eldin are heartfelt and sincere. Spider is clearly evil, though. The author makes no secret of this. Only the magnitude of her evil escalates as the story unfolds.
Other parts of the novella are let down by a very matter-of-fact style of writing. The fact that the story is told in the third-person present tense makes it even more difficult to smooth over these.
Not without its faults, this is a solid piece of writing by a young author that manages to entertain in a nice compact package. Something to look into if you like transformation stories involving foxes, humans and... spiders!