This novella ties up Finch’s “lingster” series, which has spanned multiple stories for over two decades. Unfortunately, if I’ve read any of the previous stories, I don’t recall them and The Evening and the Morning was a bit difficult to get into as a stand-alone story. Finch did a decent job of providing the necessary backstory and concept information new readers need to follow along as the main character moves toward his inevitable transition. And it’s clear to new readers that this is an effective closure to the series. At the same time, I couldn’t shake the feeling that readers were already supposed to care about these characters. I didn’t. I couldn’t. And there was little to motivate me to care about them now. I’m sure Crow is an interesting character and I’m sure, for those who were already emotionally invested in him, this novella provided a cathartic release. But the story left me feeling rather indifferent to his plight.
Artistically, I found the delivery to be solid. The way Finch crafted her words was admirable and effective. She told a complicated story eloquently, and yet remained relatively brief. I certainly understand why this story was chosen for publication. Sheila Finch is a skilled craftsman. But, at the same time, I can’t help but feel this story needed either more of a primer or to be written with less of an assumed investment in pre-established characters.