Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Short Story Review - Stephen C Spencer

I have never really given much thought to short stories, I just dismissed them as stories for people who don't have time to read proper books... Then I became a book reviewer and came across Ellie Darkins on Twitter, she posted a link to a short story that she had written and posted on her blog... from the very beginning I was hooked, everything happened to quickly and then it was over leaving my wanting more.

So I decided to explore more short stories and put a hit out on Twitter. This is where the lovely Stephen Spencer comes in.. He very kindly sent me two of his short stories to read Role Reversal and Window of Opportunity. So here is what I thought...

Window of Opportunity
Released 6th March 2012
PDF 12
Publisher Self Published
Rating 2/5
Source Sent by Stephen

My thoughts…
Window of Opportunity was the first short story that I read by Stephen, it is about Paul Mallory, a journalist who is trying to track down a Russian criminal that tried to kill him.

The story does exactly what it needs to do as a short story and that is to move at a fast pace. For me a thriller works really well as a short story as you get to move the story along so quickly, engaging the reader to read on and want more at the end of it, as well as getting to the point quickly as opposed to dragging it out.

With this being said, as much as I liked the pace in which this story moved, I felt it left out a lot of detail. This is the first book that I have read by Stephen and from the Paul Mallory series, so maybe that is why I didn’t really connect with the book because there are so many before this that would have helped me understand the characters more.

I am not saying that this is a terrible book, but I would recommend maybe readying the Paul Mallory series in order, which is what I should have done!

Role Reversal
Released 9th September 2012
PDF 11
Publisher Self Published
Rating 4/5
Source Sent by Stephen

My thoughts…
Role Reversal was the second short story that I ready by Stephen, from the cover I saw that this was also part of the Paul Mallory series so I wasn't holding out much hope for it. However I am pleased to say that this was completely different to my first experience.

The story revolves around two women who live together and work for the same man as Paul Mallory, they have been invited to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic by going on a cruise of the Titanic route. Both Marie and Fliss are looking forward to the trip, but then Fliss starts to get nightmares. Not remembering what the nightmares are Marie orders her to a hypnotherapy session to get to the bottom of it, with her hunch that it is something to do the Titanic.

As someone who is extremely interested in the Titanic, I love reading, watching documentaries, films and stories about it, and Role Reversal fits in perfectly with one of my interests. For me, this story could be expanded into a novel – exploring the history on both Marie and Fliss’s families and exploring the history of the Titanic.

This isn't really a thriller, like the first, but I still found myself reading at a record speed to get to the end and find out what the outcome would be. If you are looking for something quick to read, then I would definitely recommend this.

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