I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book Crash, Book Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.
Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:
- One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
- Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
- Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
- Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
- Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy
Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!
Dead Already a Slipstream / Medieval Short Story by Edwina Ray
Everyone is dying, and no one outside the village has any idea. Martine and Eli’s father, the strongest, fittest man they knew lies dead inside as they paint a red cross on the door, marking yet another infected home.
In order to save the rest of the country from this lethal sickness, the village elders lock the gates. No one gets out.
So everybody will die.
Eli, however, won’t accept this fate, but can he get out of the quarantine when guards will cut down anyone who tries? Can he get help in time or will this end up just another village wiped out of existence?
As I read this story I was reminded of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. The dark feel and unknown history created a mysterious, chilling atmosphere to the beginning of the story. The rising conflict between the characters was engaging and pulled me into the story. I was anxious to discover what would happen to the villagers.
I loved that the ending on this story was less abrupt than the others I have read. It was natural and gave enough of an anti-climax to be satisfying.
While this story was in first person point of view like both The Witch’s Curse and Guilty Until Proven Innocent (written under her given name Sarah Billington), the ending switched to third. There was a well-defined break between the two point of views, but I think the story would have benefited from being told entirely in third person. Given the ending, as with the others, there was no other way to carry the story to its natural conclusion without the pov switch.
If you enjoy stories like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and don’t mind a point of view switch three quarters of the way in, Dead Already by Edwina Ray is an enjoyable read that fits great in short amount of free time.
- Free for Review