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Note: This post is not paid for or sponsored in any way. All opinions are entirely my own. Got a book you'd like me to review? Get in touch using my contact form and I'll see what I can do. :)
As a writer and blogger, sometimes I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to review a novel or a short story collection. This time around, I read Next Year, Things Will Be Different: A Collection of Short Stories by Tyramir Ross, John Biscarner, and J. C. Sayer and edited by Chris Forshner. I love reading YA fiction, so I was eager to dive right in. Here's a breakdown of the stories that make up the collection:
- Next Year by Tyramir Ross. Walker may not have finished high school yet, but he and his team are certainly finishing off every one of the G'laek they can. Now they face one of the oldest and most powerful of the ancient demons they have encountered. Can Walker use the power granted to him in Quellios of the Rising Waves, the great staff that conjures fire, as well as his own brains to save himself and his friends?
- Illusion Of Choice by John Biscarner. When given the chance to have everything your heart desires, what would you ask for? Many of us have thought of what we would ask for, but have we ever really thought about the consequences of said wishes? Darren, a young teen, has been asked a simple question: "What do you want from life?"
- The Garbage Man's Boy by J.C. Sayer. In the 1950s, the small northern Ontario town of Mallieu was terrorised by a serial killer named the Ferry Man. Ron, the Garbage Man's Boy, navigates small town politics in the wake of these murders, finding hidden truths he probably shouldn't have found, while trying to protect the ones he loves from a terrible fate.
I love all of these stories. Each of them has well-crafted prose, believable characters, and an engaging plot. They combine everyday concerns with magic and a touch of darkness. Although "Next Year" and "Illusion of Choice" are based more in fantasy than "The Garbage Man's Boy," I find them no less appealing.
Overall, these three stories succeed because they weave facets of adolescence--such as coming-of-age, loss of innocence, and the desire to find one's place in the world--among the threads of narrative arc.
The only problem I have with the work is that it is so short. I didn't want it to end. It's been a while since I read a decent short story collection, and I'm pleased to say that this one didn't let me down. If you're looking for some new YA fiction to read, give this amazing collection a try.
If you'd like to read Next Year, Things Will Be Different, you can purchase it on Smashwords for 1.99 USD.
What short story collections have you read and enjoyed? Which of these stories sounds most interesting to you?