Sparks has no fidelity to realism; she plays with both fantasy and form. No one story sounds like another, yet her singular voice floats through the collection, tying it together with opulent prose that draws heavily on history and the macabre.
Sparks recognizes perverse mythology uncovers the most innate truths about human nature and connection. When the stories you’ve been told aren’t enough, make up your own. Forged in an evocative and sensual fire, these tales transcend tradition to shine new light onto timeless complications.
This latest collection establishes Sparks as a master wordsmith, a crafter of small literary wonders ... While the bizarre objects in her stories may (for the most part) not exist in this world, Sparks offers us, with her latest collection, her own trove of carefully wrought wonders.
The Unfinished World is slightly unbalanced, but offers more than it leaves the reader desiring. What Sparks presents—especially in the first stories of the collection—is a flair for the shorter short story. Sparks understands timing, juxtaposition, and how to create original characters within the confines of a short work.
The Unfinished World and Other Stories has all the furnishings of a twenty-first-century homage to the carnally macabre Angela Carter. The collection captures an off-kilter universe of almost–fairy tales with equal parts beauty and melancholy.
Fascinating in its serendipity, yet alert to pangs of the ordinary, The Unfinished World succeeds well beyond the author’s debut, May We Shed These Human Bodies (2012), turning up 'magic in every corner.'