Kali Ma: A Collection of Short Stories – Book Review

Kali Ma: A Collection of Short Stories by El. T. Fullah is an unfortunately short but exhilarating trip through quick stories that cover a range of topics from martyrdom to fullmoon cannibal cult spiders. Yes, that’s some far-ranging topics to cover in a book of short stories, but there is differently something in this array of horror to suit even the pickiest of horror consumers.

The length of this book is small, a whole 49 pages. These stories are less short stories and more flash fiction. Flash fiction is not a general reader popular term. Referring to these quick and entertaining works as short stories makes sense due to these being horror stories and some pretty adult content. You may not want to let your kids near this one. Some of the topics will make you uncomfortable. Others may make you question people around you. By the way, “A Village With Only Men” made me laugh, but others might get uncomfortable.

As said in the first paragraph, this book is, unfortunately, short. It took me about an hour to read at a leisurely pace. This is my only complaint about Kali Ma. I hope the author will give us more of these, as I would certainly enjoy reading more of their work, as I am sure many others would.

Princess Fluffy Plumpkin Eats Pink – Book Review

Princess Fluffy Plumpkin Eats Pink, written by Chris Roy and illustrated by Nivya Kuriakose, is a cute and colorful children’s story following the adventures of Princess Fluffy as she tries to find her place in the world. This short children’s book is quick and easy to follow with super cute and bright art, which makes this children’s tale pleasant to look at as well as read.

Plumpkins are strange fuzzy creatures with soft fur. The average plumpkin has long fluffy white fur, much like a rabbit. However, Royal plumpkins have bright-colored short fur. This is why Princess Fluffy does not fit in with her family as she is a long white-furred fluffy plumpkin, hence the name Fluffy. Like many young girls, she wants to be as pretty and unique as her sisters. To do this, she goes out of her way to eat pink things to try and change her fur colors. When this fails, she is at a loss for what to do. Eventually, however, Princes Fluffy did find her way and figured out where she belonged and what she was good at. With its warm message, this adorable tale is a must-read for your child, student, or anyone else who may be exposed to small children who need entertainment.

Drive – An Expanse Short Story Review

This review contains not only my honest opinion but a affiliate link for Audible that will lead you to the story. If you sign yup for Audible using my link I get a percentage of the money and it will be used to support this blog. For more information on my affiliate disclosure please see this page. https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/

So some time ago, I started watching The Expanse on Amazon Prime. I know picking up any Amazon show, more so one based on a set of books is a touch-and-go, which is odd, given how the company became so popular. Anyway, naturally being more of a reader than a watcher, I opted to see what I could find about the books the series was based on. I found the series on Amazon, and even better, I found it on Audible. Perfect. I can multitask, getting stuff done around the house and satisfying my curiosity.

Since Audible has the collection labeled by order, I have been going down the list. The first part I listened to was a short story that is part of the series Drive. Drive is, of course, written by the author of the series James A. Corey and is, as I stated before, a short story, which makes it a concise read or on Audible, only about an hour of a listen. While I have not read the series so far, many of the reviews in the comments stated that Drive is optional to take in the rest of the series, but it sure is an enjoyable story.

The story of Drive follows Solomon Epstein as he experiments with a ship he purchased without his wife’s permission. (Never a good idea, guys and gals.) It also flashes back to his life, meeting his wife and friends he spent time with when he was younger. I will not be going into fine details as this is a short story and a quick listen. It would be far too easy to ruin the plot for those unfamiliar with the story. However, I am currently interested in reading more. I may go back and compare the series as I go.

Oh yeah, and if you want to check out Drive and Audible, feel free to use my link here! http://www.audibletrial.com/Jr3yLr

Family Curses Field Notebooks (1880-2020) Chapbook Review!

Family Curses Field Notebooks (1880-2020) by Tenacity Plys is concise but exciting. I read this short story in a cute little chapbook-style printing that was mailed to me. At 33 pages, it’s definitely a short story, but the fact that it is delivered in such a nice packet with a pleasant paper texture fulfills the physical need I and many others require from our books. More so as you work your way through the story and realize what the cover is displaying. Now this chapbook is more than your usual short story. We are given quite a bit in the 33 pages. The story follows Virgil Sykes as they clean out their aunt’s attic and stumble onto the writing of another aunt, which contains more papers inside it!

We have four characters in Family Curses, Virgil Sykes, whose writing is dated 2020, and their aunt Virginia who’s writing took place in 1993. Her uncle who’s essays took place in 1965, and finally, his father who’s writings took place in 1880. Now you might fear that having four different voices in one 33-page book might be confusing but fear not! This short story is written clearly, with each writing set denoted clearly. It reads much like a textbook with various brackets and footnotes that allow you to get each writer’s opinions. My only complaint is how this short story comes to a close! I want to know what happened, darn it! Honestly, not knowing what happened at the end of a book is like saying you just got a bite of your least favorite candy bar. It is still fantastic. This is a must-read! Go pick it up!

Another Slice of Fear – Book Review

Another Slice of Fear by Andrew Allen Smith is a colorful anthology of thrilling short stories that range the spectrum of fear. Each of these short works of fiction brings up some sort of emotion that leaves you with an emotional response. Smith brings us a variety of genres touching fear, these short stories seeming to range from the traditional horror story to some with a more contemporary fantasy feeling. Yet despite the range in sub-genre feel, they are all stories that make you feel a sliver of fear in one way or another. It may not all be things that go bump in the night, though we are given some very impressive monsters, Andrew Allen Smith certainly does his job of making you feel.

Another Slice of Fear By Andrew Allen Smith was one book I inhaled quickly. Its collection of fear-inducing stories each affecting my emotions as I read through them. Some ended in fear, others excited because the fear was conquered and others curious because there seemed to be such an open ending that full novels could have been taken from it. One story in particular ‘Monster’ was such an emotional ride that I went back to read it a second time and I will probably go back and read it again in the near future. Fear is a curious emotion and you do not always feel it at the object that you think you would. Andrew Allen Smith pinpoints the parts of each story that will make you feel it. The man knows fear and each story had a point that just wiggles inside of your mind and makes you wonder.

Reviewed for Reader’s Favorite

Oliver of the Silver Hand – Short Story Review

Oliver of the Silver Hand is a story by S. Marie Diegutis. It is a short story and prequel to the Dragon Hatcher series. This short story combines commonly known myths and legends such as Merlin and dragons, along with the author’s own characters. This gives the story an interesting feeling of originality while using the wizard we all know from Arthurian legends. This short story is certainly an entertaining one.

Short stories can be a little difficult, particularly when they are attached to a larger series. An author has to connect it to the larger story, while also giving us enough information in the single short story to stay interested, instead of just wanting to skip it and go pick up the novels it’s attached to. Thankfully, with Oliver of the Silver Hand, Diegutis keeps you interested. Tidbits of information are given to us, though enough is left out to make the reader want to pick up the series when it is available. I know I will be looking look for this series when it comes out.

As touched previously, the story uses the Arthurian character Merlin. This is done well and interestingly using lessor known stories about the magic man having a sister, which ties him to Oliver, the main character as his brother-in-law. The Merlin in this story is certainly not limited to the wise and carefully guiding character we are used to, he’s a bit of a drunken playboy in this story. An interesting take on the character and worth reading. As for the other characters of the story, they are equally worth reading about, though of original creation.

As stated before, Oliver of the Silver Hand is a prequel, so there are questions left out that make one want to read the rest of the series. Such as more about the dragons and their various abilities, as well as some of the main character Oliver, who even so early in the series seems to have a huge history that could be fun to learn about.

Over all, Oliver of the Silver Hand is worth reading, and should be picked up by fans of fantasy. Hopefully, the rest of the series will be as entertaining as it’s prequel!

I got my copy of Oliver of the Silver Hand on Reedsy Discovery! https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/oliver-of-the-silver-hand-a-fantasy-short-story-prequel-in-the-dragon-hatcher-urban-fantasy-series-s-marie-diegutis#review

The Descent a story from Ékleipsis the abyss – A Review

This time of year, October, if you are reading this at another point in time, I like to seek out scary and thrilling reads to get in to the seasonal mood. So upon being asked to review one story from Ékleipsis the abyss, a collection of short stories by Tamel Wino, I thought, hey great timing! After taking a very brief look at what was offered, I agreed to read and review The Descent, a story about a pilot who risks his life to save someone from certain death and finds himself needing to seek that thrill again. That sense that he is defying death by the skin of his teeth.

This is a short story, so a lot is packed in to the page count. The main character, Chris goes through some serious emotional ups and downs. He is a naturally selfish person, ending up always putting himself before everything else, even when he seems to have everything in order, he ends up back tracking to his selfish ways. This story is told in the first person, so the tale is all from Chris’s point of view. You briefly hear his opinions of the side characters. They are as colorful as one can assume after getting to know the main characters.

Now as for the thrill Chris seeks, and readers of horror often look for, oh, oh you will get it! You will get it in the most jaw dropping way. This story was amazing, and it ended with me on the edge of my seat. This is well worth the time to read. When I have a chance, I will go back to read the rest of the stories in this book as well!

Hungry Business – Short Story Review

Short stories can be difficult to write, you are expected to get a lot of information and make people feel for your characters in a short amount of time. This is even harder to pull off when you do it in a second person’s point of view. Maria DeBlassie however, manages to produce an excellent story this way with Hungry Business. A story about dating, and zombies, that feels far too relatable to anyone who is in, or remembers, the dating scene. After all, how many times have we all gone on a really uncomfortable date with a person who is just staring at us like a piece of meat?

Hungry Business is well written. The main character walks you through their complicated dating life. Trying to cope with the loneliness of dating in a world where most would just be happy eating you rather than dating. Finding small ways to cope with the loneliness eating them away inside, the narrator talks about life as they desperately look for another warm body to cling to.

As touched on before, the story is old in the second person point of view, which is difficult to pull off in most narratives. Before this I have only seen it in game books, and choose your own adventure stories. However, the viewpoint works well with Hungry Business, giving it the feeling of perhaps a friend who is desperately trying to relate to someone they are letting their dating woes out to.

So is Hungry Business worth the read? It feels experimental, yes, and it may not be for everyone. However, I highly suggest this short story for anyone with half an hour to kill and a memory of their dating days. It is relatable and entertaining in the way it is told! Pick it up!

Like Only A Woman Can – Short Story Review

So if you are anything like me you get pretty annoyed by how women are depicted in most spy or assassin movies and stories. They are often the unsuspecting honeypot or the villain’s girlfriend who later ends up falling for the hero and blah blah blah. So upon being asked if I could review Like Only a Woman Can, I was honestly excited to pick up a contemporary short story regarding a female assassin. 

First this is a short story so there isn’t much in the way of character development to go over. So we’ll just focus on the main character. She is a self-assured woman who is good at her job and knows what she is capable of. She’s not usually given jobs based on her gender, but this guy needs a female touch. Now this consists of her taking off her cloths and tricking the guy in to getting close. I won’t go in to detail, it’s a short story after all, you can read it. But she knows what she’s doing.

Now aside from the well written main character who despite the short story is far from the cliche assassin girl, the story itself is entertaining. It is written from a first person perspective and the speech is crisp and to the point, as you would expect it to be with this kind of character. 

Like Only a Woman Can is a solid short story with a solid lead character. Fans of the genre and capable female characters should pick this story up. It’s short word count makes it a quick and enjoyable read to get your fix. You will enjoy yourself!

Dragon Hill and Other Stories

Dragon Hill and Other Stories is a colorful collection of short stories by Stephen E Seale. The stories are of different genres but each one is well written and entertaining. With four stories, the book as a whole is a quick read, but this is far from a bad thing. Each story gives you a little taste of the author’s ability to work with different worlds and genre. This quick read will leave you grasping for more of Seale’s work.

This book is great for fans of short stories, scifi and fantasy! 

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