... [a] clever, captivating book ... Silver unleashes her considerable imagination on a cast of colorful and endearingly flawed characters who are forced to fight against their stunted fates. The result is a beautifully told, heart-rending, can’t-put-it-down read ... Silver masterfully balances a riveting plot with deep meaning.
...[a] fantastically inventive new novel ... Through the story of Pavla’s shape-shifting, Silver challenges the misogynistic conventions of the classic fairy tale ... The novel’s open ending lingers unsettlingly in the mind. Like [Angela] Carter, but in her own way, Silver manages to transform the fairy tale without losing its power.
...both a parable and a full-fledged, richly told story, with clearly drawn characters who beckon us to come along with them on their journeys ... Silver’s book is magical and parabolic, but it doesn’t have the stark, curious language of a fairy tale. Instead, she adorns her fable with earthy imagery, crafting a rich setting and lovable characters.
...beguiling...a powerful exploration of the relationship between our changeable bodies and our just as malleable identities ... Silver’s storytelling tactics are finely matched to her themes, with her book’s structure frequently mimicking the dreamlike movements of memories and fables ... It’s a credit to Silver’s skill that before the novel ends she finds one more way to reopen its narrative possibilities.
With elemental simplicity — always part of the fun — [Silver] delivers a tale as mysterious as anything the Grimm Brothers might have collected ... what lifts her story above the one dimensionality of most fables is her commitment to emotions of her characters ... she eventually brings together the pieces of this story like glass in a kaleidoscope patterning and coalescing. The effect is mesmerizing.
Little Nothing, is a marvelous book. I mean 'marvelous' in the this-critic-approves sense, sure: Her command of character, style, and storytelling is expert and sustained. But I also mean it in the sense of being full of marvels ... Little Nothing is steeped in strangeness, but it’s driven by a basic question that frees the best novels and their heroes when the time comes to explore their worlds: What if there’s something else out there?