M. K. Theodoratus - Noticing Jamilla: A Tale of Andor

Thursday, June 8, 2017

23. Noticing Jamilla: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus (2014)
The Tales From the World of Andor Series Book 2
Length: 18 pages 
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 8 June 2017
Where did it come from? From Amazon 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 May 2017
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

The residents of the world of Andor live in a parallel realm very much like our own. However, the major difference between our world and that of Andor - is that the curtain between the physical world and the supernatural one is much thinner than we would think. As a result of this, the residents of Andor are quicker than most people to ascribe a supernatural or magical motive to everything that happens.

Cassy Mae has always known that her mother had left her hometown of Docket's Diggings right after graduation. As a matter of fact, her mother had preferred to live all the way across the country in the bustling city of Santo Francisco - with its high crime rate and cheap motels - rather than live in her hometown. Ma may not have ever wanted to return, but Cassy Mae really has no say in the matter. After her mother's death, she finds herself being shuttled back to Docket's Diggings and living with her elderly GrammyJo - doing her best to get through her last year of high school, and occasionally helping out at her grandmother's beauty salon.

Life may not have worked out exactly how she may have wanted it to, but that was just how it happened. Living with her mother may not have been an absolutely ideal situation either, but that really didn't matter - Cassy Mae was strong and fully capable of taking care of herself. Her mother had run away to escape from GrammyJo's magical juju, and so Cassy Mae is determined to have nothing to do with that sort of thing, herself. She had already learned from an early age that telling anyone - particularly her mother - that she could 'see colors' around people only led to trouble.

So, Cassy Mae has perfected her ability to hide in plain sight; keeping her talent to herself and trying not to become too much of a target to her classmates. So far she has managed to stay somewhat under the radar while at school, but staying clear of GrammyJo's various magical workings is proving to be slightly more difficult. She just finds the entire situation to be seriously disturbing, so she does her best to ignore it. However, the sudden arrival of 'The Markem' and her family threatens Cassy Mae's deepest-held secret - and she soon discovers that there is much more to fear in life than her GrammyJo's amulets and incantations.

Lydia Markem - a mysteriously wealthy transplant from Santo Francisco - seems to thrive on the townspeople's admiration of her and her family. It's true that the locals have never seen anyone quite like The Markem before, so they are dutifully awed by such affluence. However, her recent arrival has also brought with it a strange malaise that follows The Markem everywhere she goes. Cassy Mae can't decide if her GrammyJo's suspicions are influencing her own attitude, but she can't see anything around the woman: no colors, no darkness, no dullness - just...nothing!

As if that isn't alarming enough, The Markem's niece has also come to town. Although, she's much nicer than the rest of her family. Jamilla Markem seems charming, innocuous, and totally non-threatening - actually, she's completely different from her aunt in Cassy Mae's personal estimation. Surely GrammyJo is mistaken, Jamilla couldn't possibly hurt anyone.

However, Jamilla's strange fascination with her new friend abruptly takes a much darker turn. She insists on making Cassy Mae her special companion, and latches herself on to the girl like a shadow. Soon Cassy Mae finds herself caught between her grandmother's spells and the obsessive attentions of a stalker.

I must say that I really enjoyed reading this particular book. Although at eighteen pages long, it's more of a short story, I suppose. Having said that, I still found the story to be intriguing and well-developed for its length. I would give this book a definite A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often