Chimeric Machines – Book Reviewposted by
Lucy A. Snyder
Creative Guy Publishing
Review by Nickolas Cook
Back in 2007, I did review of Lucy Snyder’s short story collection, Sparks and Shadows (HW Press, 2007), and was blown away by her ability to cut and kiss with the same sentence. It was an astounding collection that rightfully garnered accolades from many genre reviewers and professional organizations. Now Lucy Snyder has released what may be the best collection of poetry I’ve read in years – within or without the genre.
Divided into seven carefully balanced parts, Snyder opens the collection with the perfect selection to warn the reader of Chimeric Machines’ impending agenda with “Modernism,” a poem steeped in brutally beautiful symbolism that does not leave any doubts of what’s to come.
There is not one poem in Chimeric Machines that doesn’t fit in place like a delicately carved piece of a complex and consuming puzzle. There are poems of ethereal beauty that waft through your senses like sugary winged butterflies, and poems that feel like cold rusty blades being driven violently into your soul. One in particular left me teary eyed. “Babel’s Children” is less an ode and more of a denouncement of how the late great J.N. Williamson was let go into the void by his loved ones.
If it’s only half true … well, I’ll let you read and decide their deserved fates.
Snyder gives us passion, love, desire, hate, despair, sometimes in the same stanza. It is a gifted wordsmith that can alternately touch your heart and make you existentially nauseous.
But Snyder has a playful side, too, as displayed in Part 4, “Crete, Kentucky,” where gathers together a motley crew of grifters and killers and tells their stories in poetic form – a sort of mini Spoon River Anthology for the horror geeks among us.
If there was ever any doubt about this author’s talent, Chimeric Machines will put them to bed for good and all. There is no other writer working today quite like Lucy A. Snyder. And watching her develop is going to be a once in a lifetime marvel to behold.
P.S.- Del Rey, a large NYC publishing house, has finally recognized her enormous talent, and her impeding release with them, Spellbent, promises to push her into the well-deserved spotlight.