• Jordan Alyssa Duncan

Adrift on a Sea of Shadows Book Review

Welcome, one and all, to my first poetry book review—one of I've been excitedly awaiting to read, as it's a book of dark poetry. My witchy little heart can't contain its sinister glee.


Today I'll be diving into Adrift on a Sea of Shadows by Spyder Collins, a much-awaited addition to Crow & Quill's retinue of spooky awesomeness.


Genre: Dark Poetry


Category: Spooky Read

Want to know more about how we categorize books? See our Glossary for details.


Rating: 4/5 Stars


Pairing: Spider pizza bites + Grim Reaper cocktail


Traverse the waves that make up my soul
Know where I rise and where I fall

The leading poem very much sets the tone for the first half of this poetry book: achingly lovely, somber, hidden depths, and with hints of sorrow and longing.


I have to say, the first poem is my favorite. That doesn't mean the rest of the book isn't fantastic; I just have a penchant for the grimly romantic.



Major Themes: Dark romance, push and pull, Sorrow and Loneliness as entities, horror imagery, death, scavenging.


Some of these poems give me "I'll wear your skin like a coat" vibes, but I dig it. If I were to go full English major, I'd say it represents the eroding quality of desire and obsession, how we can long for something or someone so much that we wish to literally take on their qualities.


My blood boils
Malice
. . .
My marrow leaks
Affliction

On a less pretentious note, it's a nice touch of horror for gothic readers' spooky delight.


My everything sewn into a dream
She is my muse, drawing on my sorrow

I have a sappy heart coated in the thinnest layer of black nail polish (honestly, it's cheap and chipping, I'm not fooling anyone), so this is the kind of stuff that gut-punches me in a good way (you didn't know there was a polite way to punch someone, eh?).


Gloomy and whimsical is always a combo I can get behind. It's like Poe and Keats had a book baby. Love it, love it, love it.


I can go home now to the flames that call for my soul.

Then there's badass snippets like this that set my fantasy-geared brain into the wonderful mindset of antiheroes, villain protagonists, and epic journeys a la Dante's Inferno.


As to be expected, I like some poems more than others, but that's the subjective nature of poetry. I enjoy how, even with its three or four prevalent themes, each poem mixes things up so there's a little something for everyone (er, everyone on the Dark Side, that is).


There's the subtle, darkly romantic poems for saps like me; there's the introspective poems that anyone who's ever felt lost or lonely can relate to; then there's your straight-up horror pieces for people who like their bleeding hearts on a platter please-and-thank-you-sir.


Raven walks with Wraith
Past the darkness, divination

As a book witch, I'm a big fan of the Raven personifications scattered throughout, the hints of witchcraft and an atmosphere I can only describe as "Ancient Things." Makes the cranky hagraven deep inside me proud.


Timeless she is
My maiden,
Fatality.

Part of the push-and-pull theme I mentioned deals with death, with some poems taking on a resigned and embittered tone and others a dreamier one. My English nerd self takes great delight in how the former seem to refer to Death in Life (or Life in Death, if you will) while the latter deals more with actual death as a release and a new beginning (which, of course, does not have to be so literal).


In her stay among the lunar sheets and whispers of magic, she finds peace on the shores of Infinity.

A good portion of poetry is also dedicated to the Greek gods and their personifications, weaving mythology with what is already an air of mysticism and intangibility. The language used in these sections is a lovely juxtaposition to the gory, brutal imagery of the more horror-geared pieces.


Eyes removed
My trophy
Tongue severed
To keep her voice

I'm not the biggest fan of serial killer themes, but poetry gives horror so much leeway to go deeper than its bloody face value (couldn't help myself). While it might be gratuitous to some (please keep your arms and legs inside at all times), I felt as though I was reading the diary of a demon—a lonely, messed-up demon with one true love (who might be Death) that constantly eludes him, refusing to part him from Sorrow.



Thank you for sticking around, lovelies, and if you're interested in snagging this gloriously twisted book of poetry, you have two options:


You can pre-order the book today and get a copy all to yourself in March.


OR you can enter our dark poetry/short fiction contest for a chance to win Adrift on a Sea of Shadows, in addition to other spooky goodies!


Click the link below for details


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