Since I'm going to Context SF in September, and since I'll be taking a writing seminar by Gary Braunbeck, and furthermore since I saw Braunbeck at Wiscon and he seemed like a nifty person, I read this book. In Silent Graves is outside of my usual range, since it involves a lot of gore, but unlike most horror stories, it is not actually about the hidden evil under the surface of the world that is rising up to destroy everything; it's about the grim undertakings involved as the hidden *good* attempts to correct the evil inherent in humankind. It's disturbing, but the point of the story is the main character's development into a much better person, through nasty, but necessary, events. The premise relies on the existence of heavenly creatures that I've heard mentions of before, and don't know much about, but they were presented in an interesting way in this book.
It's hard to describe what I thought of the book. In an intellectual sense, it was satisfying. The resolution was good. There were many times when I really couldn't bring myself to put the book down, because I wanted to know what was going to happen. However, once I had put the book down, it sometimes took a while to get into the mood to pick it up again, because I didn't really *enjoy* it on an emotional level. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to a person who likes horror stories, because it was much better than the usual, arbitrary evil lashing out at innocent people kind of horror, but it still wasn't my kind of story. There were a couple of excellent things about it for me, though. One was the fact that it stretched my definition of how horror can be done, and the other is the way it gave me some ideas of my own about what I would like to write. So, generally speaking, yay! I'm glad that I read it. This is why it's good to read different kinds of fiction, boys and girls.