Posts

Review: Meet Me In Okhotsk by Sarah Daniels

Review of Meet Me In Okhotsk by Sarah Daniels(999 words)
Flash Fiction Online, November 2019 Issue : Read Online

A world where you actually can just drop off the edge of the earth. Some make it through to Okhotsk, through to the other side. But some don't. Adrenaline junkies seem to live for it, and they make trips there to feel the exhilaration of the unknown. With an added rush, because you don't even know if you'll live through it.

Mary, a research scientist, is not that kind of person. But the temptation is real.

Flash fiction is a true art form. Conveying so much in a few words is a special skill, and I truly appreciate it.

Support us on Ko-fi - https://ko-fi.com/ohjustbooks

Review: Keep Moving by Raluca Balasa

Review of Keep Moving by Raluca Balasa (3834 words)
Luna Station Quarterly, Issue 039 :Read Online

A dystopian society where people are afraid to love, indeed, it isn't even allowed legally. Children grow up in institutions, away from their "lifegivers". They don't even know the names of their caretakers until they are old enough to be able to handle such informattion without forming an emotional bond.

Reminiscent of Brave New World, but somehow more horrifying, because reproduction still happens the traditional way. It is a world where love is not allowed, emotional bonds are to be avoided, feelings are to be eliminated and music leads to hurt and pain.

The foundation of the story, and the world building within, is well structured and the details flow together very well. It's certainly a sad word to live in, and that makes Sarrai's life demand even more sympathy, while also understanding how the people in that world may react.


Support us on Ko-fi - https://ko-…

Review: The Devil and Dice by Diana Hurlburt

Review of The Devil and Dice by Diana Hurlburt (6901 words)
Luna Station Quarterly, Issue 039 :Read Online

This is the second story by Diana Hurlburt that I am reviewing. It stood out to me then, and it stands out to me instantly now, that her descriptions are beyond spectacular.

She paints wonderful pictures, and I repeat myself, but it's true - I don't like to read descriptions very much for many reasons. They do nothing for me in terms of the story in most cases, it gets draggy and people don't edit. But Hurlburt is just fantastic.

Orca and Dice. Black and White. Devil and God. Twins. Twins that grow up together, but one is for the Devil and one is for God, as declared by the pastor of their small town. The premise is interesting, as well as the description of the passage of time.

The story has fantastical elements, combined with the general ordinariness of life, which isn't always ordinary to begin with. Combining the real, unreal and surreal is a special skill, and on…

Review: Recovery by Kate Sheeran Swed

Review of Recovery by Kate Sheeran Swed (3956 words)
Luna Station Quarterly, Issue 039 :Read Online

What stood out to me instantly was the age of the MC, Penny. She is eighty-six, and has never used her recovery card - a card that let's you re-live four minutes of your life. Most people use it for frivolous things, but not Penny. She still has it, safely tucked away for later.

She, however, is in the hospital, with her roommate Molly. This story is pretty much about the fun they have, looking for the Well-Dressed Man, and it sheds light on the bond they've formed during their escapade. The story is light, fun, yet poignant. It's only after I started reviewing short stories here that I started reading even more of them, and what surprises me the most is how often I use the word poignant in terms of short stories. And it is not a word I use lightly.

Short stories like this are what drew me into creating a dedicated review blog in the first place. What a beautiful story.

Suppor…

Review: You Called Me by Avra Margariti

Review of You Called Me by Avra Margariti(999 words)
Flash Fiction Online, October 2019 Issue : Read Online


"Guilt bursts citric-sour in her mouth."
Sentences like these really make me vividly visualize things, which I always appreciate. And to find it in a short story, no less! This is a story about a fourteen year old girl who is a minor deity and is called by the people who believe in her. Her mum worries, like any teenager's mum would, and their relationship is beautifully portrayed with very few words. It's a special skill and something I definitely appreciate. They are distant as the story starts, and the mother, Carol, works hard to maintain the peace and have a semblance of a working, healthy relationship. We soon discover that this is not entirely the case, and Carol herself is pretty hurt. Janie doesn't call her mom. By the end of the story, we understand where the distance, hurt, and resentment comes from, and how things might change just yet.


Support us…

Review : The Planting Prayer by Caroline Diorio

Review of The Planting Prayer byCaroline Diorio (919 words)
Flash Fiction Online, October 2019 Issue : Read Online

I particularly enjoyed the second person POV narration. I don't get to see that enough, honestly, so this stood out for me right from the outset. The story opens with our unnamed protagonist fulfilling a ritual - their sister is dead and they need to do this for the sake of her soul. For peace. The revelations are scattered throughout the story, and each new bit of information makes the story more intense and terrifying. The fear of death is a real thing, especially if youth are involved. Both the protagonist and the sister are fairly young, and while they have experienced the death of a close one (their mother) before, it's worse when it's someone quite young. This touches on that visceral fear, and the heightened terror and magic intertwine to create a beautiful, if scary, story.


Support us on Ko-fi - https://ko-fi.com/ohjustbooks

Review : Mr. Buttons by Miyuki Jane Pinckard

Review of Mr. Buttons by Miyuki Jane Pinckard (950 words)
Flash Fiction Online, October 2019 Issue : Read Online

I absolutely adore stories that can change the entire setting at a moment's notice. Mr. Buttons is exactly that. The background is of a kid who loves his stuffed toy, and we see that the child is soothed by it. Maybe it's just childish imagination, or maybe it's actually magic. Suddenly, though, you're hit by a split second decision and wide-ranging implications. Beautifully spooky. 

Support us on Ko-fi - https://ko-fi.com/ohjustbooks