In the second installment (of what I am hopeful will be a continuing series), Andrew presents fourteen new short stories to engage our senses and catch us a little off balance. It’s an interesting idea, investigating the many layers and perspectives of fear, and this author does it with authenticity and ingenuity. Some of these stories will scare you, others will leave you unsettled, and others may touch a soft spot inside your own fear that you didn’t realize was there.
In The Boathouse, the concept of fear is imagined from three very different perspectives. As we read, we discover that although the players are the same in each narrative, faced with the same situation, each character interprets fear differently. It makes for an interesting study of how each of us reacts to something we find unnerving.
Much to my delight, Andrew added an act two to the story he began in the first volume. Where he began with The Edge, he continues here with Edges. I was fascinated by the first act of this tale and having the opportunity to see how the story evolves in the second was marvelous. The introduction of a sacred book to the story requited my desire for new secrets, enticing my imagination with how the sword was forged and why it was sanctified for its purpose. Like a chocolate torte cake, each layer reveals a little bit more delicious tension and suspense. I am hopeful this story will one day grow into a novella or a full stand-alone novel. My anticipation for even more layers to be revealed is undeniable.
The entire book is filled with gems of literary wonderment, none to be missed. However, my favorite in this collection is a story entitled Monster. This piece grabbed my soul and would not let go. The story considers the fear that lives inside apathy, insatiable greed, altruism, sadness, and revenge. I would love to tell you more… but I won’t. This is a story that should be experienced by each reader on their own terms. But I will say this, I will refuse to forget it, and have enjoyed it with each new read (four so far).
If you enjoy literature that tingles your brain and stings your skin just a little bit, this collection will not disappoint.
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