The Collector's Lost Things (A Gardens of War and Wasteland Story), by Jessica A. McMinn

9 Mar 2024

The Book

The Collector's Lost Things
Series: Gardens of War & Wasteland
Pages: 75
Age Group: Adult
Published on 23 Jan 2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Available on:


Blind Those Who See…

Rei-Hai Shaw is a Collector, and he is very good.

At just thirteen years old, Rei became the youngest recruit ever to join the ranks of the Tower, the shadowy organisation that oversees the fulfilment of Whyt’hallen’s darkest requests.

Favoured by the masters but distrusted by his peers, Rei comes to learn the price of his accolades when the Tower demands more than the simple procurement of trinkets.

They want him to steal lives, too.

When his latest missions thrusts him back into the world of his childhood, Rei is painfully reminded of all he left behind—and what he can’t bear to lose again.

My Review

The Collector's Lost Things is an introductory novella to one of the characters in the main saga Gardens of War and Wasteland, a grimdark fantasy series written by Jessica A. McMinn. Rei-Hai Shaw is a Collector, working for the Tower, a shadowy organization that fulfills Whyt'hallen's darkest requests.

From a young age, Rei has shown his talent, ascending as a servant of the Tower, gaining some recognition from his masters; however, he's about to be sent on a mission that will show him more about the cruelty and brutality of the organization, which also marks a return to the world he lost when he was abducted.

McMinn tells a really intense story inside this novella, putting a big focus on mental health and the dangers of power dynamics; it also brings light over the past of Rei, one of my favourite characters of The Ruptured Sky. The characters are well built, they are as complex as the length allows them.
Despite the character focus of this novella, we also manage to get glimpses of different aspects of the worldbuilding, always in a secondary layer in comparison with the major elements of the plots.

Personally, I would recommend reading The Collector's Lost Things after reading The Ruptured Sky, as it will be much more impactful; a great novella which gives a good bite of what you can expect from Jessica A. McMinn.

Disclaimer: This novella has been read as part of the SFINCS. This review/rating only represents my personal opinion and it might differ with what the team decides.

The Author/s

Jessica A. McMinn

Jessica A. McMinn

Jessica A. McMinn is a grimdark fantasy author based in regional Australia with a passion for dark fantasy, dark coffee and cats (which, let’s face it, are all dark inside).

Since graduating from the University of Wollongong with Distinction in BCA (Creative Writing) and BA (Japanese), Jessica spent five years in Japan teaching English while refining her writing craft.

She now works as a freelance writer and offers editing and coaching services to authors. When she is not writing (which is more often than you’d think), Jessica can be found raising her two beautiful children or immersed in an audiobook while drawing, crafting or playing video games.

Her debut novel, The Ruptured Sky, is the first installment in the gritty dark fantasy quartet, Gardens of War & Wasteland, and is perfect for fans of Robin Hobb, Anna Stephens and R F Kuang.