A Storied Week – Week Eight

A Storied Week

line-37709

If you’ve been seeing my posts this week, you’ve already seen four of the five stories I read and reviewed. It hasn’t been the case for most of the year, but this week I read short stories that were from modern authors and in ebook form and when that happens, I’ll do a more formal review.

So really, that’s what I did this week, haha. I read a few stories, most were randomly found, and it was hit or miss on them. The shining star of the week was the 1st one, by Alessandra Thomas. I’ve been waiting for the Fifty First Times anthology to come out for MANY months solely for Thomas’ story. I know there are almost 20 authors in the collection, but I only wanted Thomas’ (and then I’d look at the others in time). I loved two of her three novels so far, and had to see what she does in the short story form…and I wasn’t disappointed.

But enough about that. The reviews are below, so there’s no need for me to bore you by saying it all again up here. I’m just happy to have read the five stories and get a feeling of accomplishment this week. I also finished reading Shame on You by the great Tara Sivec. That review will be going up on Wednesday the 5th as part of Sivec’s blog tour. Don’t miss this one. It was a great book and I can’t wait for the other two in the series.

Now that I’m done with my rambling, go on and read some stories! Then come back and tell me about them 🙂

line-37709

With the Lights On, by Alessandra Thomas
(review originally posted here)

Fifty First TimesThomas has amazed me, yet again, with her writing. What’s great is that this time it was with a short story, not one of her novels.

With the Lights On deals with a character similar to Cat from Picture Perfect, in that she’s trying to work through issues with her self-image (among other things). I think it’s great to see that, even with a  similar character, Thomas was able to easily draw me in, keep me engaged, and not feeling like it was just a copy of Picture Perfect compressed into a short story.

I don’t really want to pick the story apart anymore, but I could go on about its strengths. This was a great short story. It wrapped up nicely, while allowing room to continue in another story/novel (which I’d gladly read).

line-37709

The Mountain City Bronzes, by Madeleine McLaughlin
(review originally posted here)

The Mountain City BronzesI was surprised with this story. It started out okay, and then when the past of the small town was revealed, it took the story to a darker place…which I greatly enjoyed.

As I suggested, I wasn’t expecting the story to lead where it did. The author hints that the town has a troubled past, all along, yet I didn’t think it would be as intense as it was.

I think it was a great story, just enough character development and an interesting “real-world” horror element for a quick read.

line-37709

The Baby Trap, by Zoe Damis
(review originally posted here)

The Baby TrapI didn’t expect too much from the story. This is mainly due to it being listed at about 300 words. There’s not much room to expand a full fleshed out story.

Despite this consideration, I felt this story lacked in many ways. Aside from a need of another proofread, there really wasn’t much story. Casey finds out she’s pregnant, then spends time describing John’s brother Sam and his dislike of babies, instead of thinking about John and letting him be his own person. Casey seems a little obsessed with Sam, but knows almost nothing about her own boyfriend (based on what’s in the story, at least).

The resolution of this story is predictable and abrupt. I think if the author spent less time having Casey assume things based on the brother Sam, there’s be more room to develop a more balanced story with the 300 words. The subject matter gives many opportunities for conflict. I would have liked to see more of that included in the story.

line-37709

Missing Pieces, by Ray Daley
(review originally posted here)

Missing PiecesI wasn’t sure about this story at first. there’s a lot left unsaid that made it slightly difficult for me to get into what was happening, as much as I’d have liked, but later on more was revealed to help my overall understanding.

This story takes place in the (possibly near) future, though it was hard to confirm that at first. I felt it crucial to my reading for me to know this to better understand some of what’s said.

Despite that, I think the main theme of the story is fairly upfront and strong. If the writing was only slightly less vague, I think I’d have enjoyed the story that much more.

line-37709

The adventures of Mr Harley, by Jane Austen
(text for the story)

I can’t say I did or didn’t like this Austen story. It’s three paragraphs long and really only an abbreviated story.

Austen’s know for her novels, but I recently bought a book of her early writings, which has many stories like this one that are merely fragments. I picked this one at random from some other page-long stories to see what it would be like to read something this short from the author. Strangely it’s not bad, even if it’s very basic.

Austen didn’t “wow” me with Pride and Prejudice, but maybe I”ll see a different side of her with these small glimpses into her writings as a younger woman.

line-37709

Have you read any short stories this week? Do you know of any short stories to suggest to me or my readers? Feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments on this post or more privately through the contact page, if you want you’d like to type something longer up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s