'The Only Harmless Great Thing' - Book Review

The Only Harmless Great Thing
by Brooke Bolander
Tor, 96 pages

Tor gave away e-book copies of this to people who read their e-newsletter. Having given it to me, they're not going to like my review. Although they should hardly care as my negative review will be read by approximately three people as it wades upstream through a river of positive reviews.

The story is set on an alternate Earth, a retelling of the story of the Radium Girls (slowly and gruesomely dying of radium poisoning, this isn't heart-warming material). So the company started using elephants to handle the radium. And the elephants became sentient. Or maybe the elephants were always sentient (well, mostly the females - bulls are idiots).

Bolander uses what I think of as a folk-art style of writing, using slang and dropped words in the narrator's prose. It's effective for what she's trying to achieve, but it's not a style that I enjoy. And the point of this story full of inaccurate science is ... rage? That's about all the summary I can come up with. I'm unlikely to read her work again.