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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

eBook Review: Seventh Star Singles by Michael West

Last month I was fortunate enough to win a giveaway over at Book Den (a belated thanks to Jen for the contest!), picking up all eight Seventh Star Singles, courtesy of Seventh Star Press. Never having read anything from the publisher, I quite liked the idea of getting a chance to sample their authors in short-story format, but the first two stories randomly picked from the bunch just didn't grab me.

Fortunately, I didn't give up on the publisher, because the next two stories - For the River is Wide and the Gods are HungryGoodnight, both by Michael West - turned out to be great reads.

For the River is Wide and the Gods are Hungry is a very short story (just 16 pages), but it works very well. It has that campfire ghost-story feel to it, and reminds me in some ways of an old Richard Matheson short. It's creepy, suggestive, and frightening in its efficiency of words, but never tips its hand by actually showing you the monster. Skeptics are free to walk away and scoff at coincidence, claiming the power of suggestion, but horror aficionados know damn well to stay the hell out of the water.

Goodnight is an emotionally powerful tale that grabbed me right from the mention of Spider-Man bed sheets. More sad than scary, the horror here comes not from the creepy rows of corn out in the field, but the carelessly placed pitchfork beneath the hay. The depiction of the Grim Reaper is one of the best I've read in a long time, equal parts Stephen King and Tim Burton, and his confrontation with a young boy is chilling. If the final twist isn't quite the surprise some readers might like it to be, that's perfectly okay, because the story is all about fulfilling that eerie promise.

Like I said, short stories are a great way to sample an author's work, and I can honestly say that these two shorts have me eager to read one of West's full-length works.

So, watch out, Cinema of Shadows, 'cause I've got my eye on you . . . although you may have a fight on your hands if I can get my hands on an early copy of Poseidon's Children!

4 comments:

  1. Awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed them. Cinema of Shadows is a great read, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Poseidon's Children, too!

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  2. ohh I should try that


    P/S New Follower @ When She Reads

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  3. So glad you enjoyed them as someone who has reviewed for SSP I must say they are really awesome people. I had the same giveaway myself and hope the winner liked the short story set. Cinema of Shadows is a great read and Poseidon looks great I'm looking forward to that one myself. You should take a look at Redheart by Jackie Gamber she's another SSP author no short story from her but I suspect in time she'll get some out there as well. I don't know who'd book you read and didn't care for but the great thing about SSP is they have variety Angelkillers is next on my list as well as the Dwarves series that's out and just read Stephen Zimmers Crown of Vengeance. All in all great reads and sure to have something for every reader. Glad you kept at it till you found one you liked.

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  4. I love short stories for the same reason. Why buy the cow...you get it. It will tell me right away if I would like to read a novel by that author.

    Mary

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