Wednesday 26 February 2020


A Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina Sng is an exploration of the darkness inside us, the shadow-self that screams and begs, forever fighting to claw itself out. It’s a siren song of transformation, an uncovered diary that bleeds fairy tales and dystopias, and it reads like a grimoire full of spells and curses that bring monsters and madmen to life. 

Between these pages, readers will meet women who hide behind the taste of poison apples, who set themselves on fire, who weep at riverbanks, the taste of freedom too much to swallow, too heavy to bear. They will be whisked away to faraway lands and unimaginable worlds, the drip of fog-soaked dreams a steady flow down their throats while they choke on betrayal and bathe in the waters of tears twice cried. 

Sng’s poems are a blend of dark fantasy and science fiction, both a changeling’s whisper and an ogre’s cry. They are both subtle and violent, and they weave themes of empowerment and strength through stars and earthquakes, forcing us to push away the rubble and look at what we’ve had to do to survive. They are the sacrifice in the forest and the haunting in the house, every gasp and ancient fear a reflection of the violence we’ve had to bury deep inside ourselves, all those battle cries and reimagined dreams we desperately try to forget. Here, Sng marries blood and magic, forever walking hand-in-hand with scar and ash, their imprints both a nightmare and a blessing, a dream and the truth. 

Swallow them carefully. Once they’re inside you, there’s no getting them out.

Thanks to Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this gorgeous book of poetry from Raw Dog Screaming Press

I love the nightmarish but beautiful ambience of the cover because it illustrates the amazing words found within so well.

The book is split into five separate sections, and the overall narrative in each of these parts fit together perfectly. 

The Love Song of Allegra tells the violent, sad and amazing story of the warrior Allegra and the war she takes part in. There's so much action, blooshed and vivid imagery with a backdrop so visceral the events played out inside my mind like an awesome feminist fantasy tale. 

Fairy Tales is a wickedly delicious assortment of poems full of familiar characters who also surprised me. The situations they found themselves in are warped into surreal and brutal portions to satisfy the monster hidden within. 

All the Monsters in the World took me on a roller-coaster ride where the monsters rule. Some are human, others are fictional, but all of them managed to creep under my skin to create nightmares, and a variety of apocalyptic situations where there is no hope left.

Although, sometimes even the loss of hope is the true salvation.

The Capacity of Violence starts with a jolt of violent revenge that then catapulted me from one poem about the capacity and true strength of victims to an even deeper one. Just because predators so openly use mental, emotional and physical force to oppress their prey, it doesn't mean these tortured souls are weak.

It takes greater strength to accept outwardly and resist inwardly, slowly building a resistance that topples the most vile of abusers. 

Myths and Dreamscapes sends us on a shadowy journey beyond the stars. Where the ancient world and the distant future collide, and we embark on trips that range from the intergalactic to the afterlife, and so much more. 

While I enjoyed every single poem because they're all captivating in their own way, there were some that resonated on a much deeper level with me and will remain in my mind for a long time.

A Collection of Dreamscapes is the first book I've read by Christina Sng, but it definitely won't be the last. The amazing poems spilled inside the pages of this collection are violent, wondrous and even grotesque. There are a lot of dark issues and nightmarish imagery in this wickedly beautiful collection.

The awful abuse against girls and women is captured in such vivid and real ways that it caught me off-guard and caused a wave of familiar sadness to sweep inside me. But even then, all of that hopelessness is often turned into empowerment. 

This is a fantastic book of poetry that doesn't shy away from true monsters or the many found in myths. The imagery touches the wonderment of fairy tales, the intrigue of myth and our interest in future worlds.

Even within all the darkness, these soul-stirring words managed to find the smallest glimmer of hope in every scenario.

I loved this and it's going straight to my Keeper Shelf.

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