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Review – The Violin March 2, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Fantasy, Short Stories.
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The Violin

by Peter Birk

The Violin is a free short story offered by the author on his website that gives the reader a taste of what Raouime is like. Raouime is the world in which To Trust The Wolf is set in. My review can be found here.

Sophie wanted to be a witch so badly she taught herself to read. This story is about the disastrous consequences of those actions.

Birk has an engaging style of writing that captured me the moment I started reading the story. The storyline is quite poignant and it had a bittersweet undercurrent. You can feel Sophie’s longing and emotion throughout the story.

There’s a sense of the world without it being overly complicated. The structure of Raouime is laid out for you in gradual steps without over-whelming you. I thought this was expertly done since Raouime is quite layered and complex.

This is a great way to experience a bit of Raouime without committing to the full-length book. Even if you have read the book, this is an excellent stand-alone story that won’t disappoint!

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Review – Tears For Hesh February 14, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Fantasy, Short Stories.
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Tears for Hesh is a short story of approximately 3,200 words. Set in the world of The Guardian’s Apprentice, this is the story of Hesh, a young man who works for a coniving, power-hungry wizard who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Hesh is a gentle giant, towering above others, but soft spoken and afflicted with a stammer when he gets nervous. Sent on an errand for his master, he ucovers a terrible secret and must face the consequences.

This is an eloquent short story about a very sensitive giant. It was too short in my opinion, but it was well done. In a very short time you’re able to get the measure of Hesh and his sweet character.

For all it’s brevity, the story managed to convey a lot of emotion and a depth of feeling that a lot of full-fledged novels miss. I only wish that the ending hadn’t been so tragic.

4.5 stars

Servant of Dreams February 8, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 5 stars, Fantasy, Short Stories.
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Servant of Dreams

by Amy Rose Davis

(also available on NOOK)

Miara is a young lowlander servant to the High Lady Lu Shi. She’s also a dreamer of prophetic visions. When her highlander mistress finds out of her talents she asks Miara to dream of her future.  This short story is about their journey to their futures and to the lowlands.

The depth that went into the world building of this story is exquisite in every detail for a story so brief. The characters are fully rounded, vibrant, and sympathetic.  The society that this is based upon is easy to grasp as well as it is fascinating and intriguing. There is romance and there is heartbreak. All the making of a truly great story.

I truly wish this has been a prequel or a longer novel.

5 of 5 stars

Sleep by Michael K. Rose February 4, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Sci-Fi, Short Stories.
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Sleep

by Michael K. Rose

This is a short story about a woman on a spacecraft who has killed a man and who needs to dispose of the body. She’s in desperate need of sleep but she also desperately needs to get rid of the body before she’s found out.

I found the short to be very intriguing and chilling in its prose. One Amazon reviewer compared Rose’s writing to Poe and I have to admit that the atmosphere is quite similar in tone. Although Sci-Fi, the tenor of his story is quite gothic.

This short 10-page story has a very classic feel to it. You can almost imagine it comes straight out of one of those magazines of those by-gone eras when science fiction used to grace the pages of such periodicals.

I enjoyed it although it left me feeling quite unsettled which I think was the point of the whole story.

4.5 of 5 stars

Stealing Souls January 22, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Fantasy, Short Stories.
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Stealing Souls

by Ian Doyle

This is a short story steeped in Victorian Romance. It features Lord and Lady Gallatin who run an agency that investigates mystical matters.

The book’s backdrop is an alternate London where magical and mystical beings abound among which there’s a wooden boy which their current case revolves around.  The purpose of their case is to remedy the matter of the displaced soul in the wooden boy.

The London in Doyle’s book comes alive with the adventure. His characters are vivacious and vibrant. The ending has a surprise twist, which I found particularly delightful. This is a fast and fun read, which makes it an excellent way to spend a few moments of extra time.

4 of 5 stars