Magic, gemmins, mermaids and ghosts are just a few of the characters we are introduced to in Dreams Underfoot. Each story revolves around a unique and special entity from Mr. de Lint’s imagination and each story is entertaining and well told. This is a universe filled with creatures of urban fantasy.
The Newford series has a different twist on contemporary fantasy. There are no vampires, werewolves, etc, but there is magic which is a melding of Native American spiritual beliefs and urban faerie. This is a collection of short stories in the Newford universe which includes many of the usual characters plus a few new ones. Charles de Lint is a prolific writer and has written 24 books in the Newford series alone, he has also written many other novels, novelettes, short stories and collections.
The last half of the book was much better than the first half, perhaps because these stories focused more on people like Jilly, Jordy, Christy and Wendy. My favourite story in this book is “The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep” and it is Sophie’s story. She is telling Jilly about a dream. But in this dream she has to make a choice. She can save the moon in the water, which is really the drowned lady, or she can have her heart’s desire. The outcome of these stories depend upon the choices made by the participants, each is given the opportunity to decide how they will respond to the situations they face.
Each story is standalone and separate from each other, but all the stories are within the universe that Mr. de Lint created. I recommend this book as an introduction to this universe and the people and concepts within. If you enjoy reading contemporary fantasy or are a fan of Mr. de Lint, then you should add Dreams Underfoot onto your list of books to read.
“Small deaths…They’re those pivotal moments in a person’s life that change it forever: a love affair gone wrong, not getting into the right post-graduate program, stealing a car on a dare and getting caught, that kind of thing. They’re the moments that some people brood on forever; right now they could have the most successful marriage or career, but they can’t stop thinking about the past, about what might have happened if things had gone differently.”