The Thief of Broken Toys

The Thief of Broken ToysThe Thief of Broken Toys by Tim Lebbon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was loving this spooky, haunting novella right up until the end. It was beautiful, lyrical, and melancholy, but also about hope and remembrance and moving past your grief. Lebbon skillfully maneuvers the reader through Ray’s stages of grief as he inches toward coming to terms with the new reality of his life. But then that ending happens. I couldn’t get into it. It’s too abrupt and weirdly unforgiving for a story that’s all about forgiving yourself. It’s unfair to both the characters and the reader. Where the novella ends is what, in a longer piece, might be the second act crisis that launches the protagonist toward a hopefully satisfying climax. We’re robbed of that here in a way that perhaps is meant to feel thematic but instead just left me unsatisfied. As always, your mileage may vary.

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