Previously posted in the nearly identical form at www.Oathtaker.com, on GoodReads and elsewhere.
I was provided a copy of this book through Goodreads’ READ IT AND REAP program in exchange for my fair and honest review. I thank the author for this opportunity.
Generally, I do not read short stories, but I have read some over the past months. I’ve decided that I rather enjoy them. While they may not satisfy that desire I have to get to know a character well and to follow her for a good long while, they do awaken something else in me, namely, they get my creative juices flowing. I find myself wondering what the author might do if the story were turned into a full length work. . . .
Ghost Story – I admit that I saw it coming—the grandmother’s connection to the ghost story—but that did not take any enjoyment from the read. My favorite line in this story was: “A musty, old paperback smell filled her nostrils.” Ha! We all know that smell, don’t we?
The Awakening – Not my favorite, but well done.
End of the Line – I found this story rather intriguing. Whenever I hear that someone decides to call it quits because they can’t take any more, I think—why quit now? If you can’t take more, then the worst is here or better yet—it’s behind you! I hope that Cassie went on to discover just that. The best part of this story was how quickly, and fully, the various characters were drawn and I also appreciated the attention to detail—the mention of chipped fingernail polish, the smell of unwashed bodies, the time and direction of a train at issue, the shuffling of the cards, the picking at a loose red thread. . . . It was these little things that made the story “real.” Well done.
Milsa Loris – My favorite lines were:
(1) “Haggard trees, withered from violent storms, had been left to stand like crooked little men.”
(2) “It [the city] now stood derelict and silent, a chipped jewel in the dark cave the world had become.”
(3) “Once the symbol of wealth and glory [the city], barbaric heathens had knocked it to the ground.”
(4) “Tendrils of cobwebs hung from the ceiling like a shimmering mist, touching the books lying on the highest shelves of her wooden cases.”
Interesting word pictures, all. Also, I am grateful for a great new word that I learned from this story, namely, “craic” which is “fun and entertainment, especially good conversation and company” or “mischievous fun.” (Thank you, Emma!) Finally, this story really got me thinking: where would this go in a full length work? (Emma? You might you consider this. ??)
The Old Vampire – Hailey seemed so real. I imagine there are many Haileys out there. . . . My favorite line?: “Inside his cape existed a deep abyss of nothingness, the bottom of a hundred foot deep well, the inside of a coffin, a curious space without stars, the total absence of light.”
The Knocking – Alison and grandfather—I feel I’ve known them both. I liked this: “Now that he could no longer climb the stairs to his bedroom, it lay silent and dormant. Shut up like a museum.” But, it is this one that made me laugh: “She sat at the kitchen table waiting for the kettle to boil and felt warm air at her feet. Without glancing down, she knew her granddad had put the heater in, in the middle of summer. Typical.”
The Boy on the Beach – Another that was not my favorite. Maybe this is because I just can’t breathe when a story takes me under water or below ground. . . .
Snowglobes – The relationship with Maggie and Eddie would feel familiar to many, I am sure.
All in all, these short stories were well told.