Author: Barbara Avon (Twitter)
Genre: Does Not Fit Neatly Into a Genre
Reading time: around 5 minutes
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
There are times when an initial read doesn't do a work of fiction justice. Barbara Avon's "The Last Hour" was one such work for me.
Having completed a first read in a choppy, distracted fashion, I just didn't "get" the story. I wasn't quite ready to give up on it, because there were some wonderful descriptions in the story. Upon a second read (and a brief clarification from the author), I understood (and enjoyed) the story much better.
It's a lesson for both readers and writers: don't assume things about the other. I missed a major clue that hinted at the thrust of the story through a little careless reading. But authors should also make note of whether reader responses indicate that their clues in a story are a little too subtle.
As for the story itself, I can't describe the plot too much without giving up the twist. The author does a great job of focusing on a single event for a short story. Some writers try to weave too many things into the short form, this is a good example of how to keep a tight focus on a single event. There are parts that would beg for further exploration if the story were longer, but they are perfectly described for a short work.
And as mentioned earlier, there are some excellent examples of great descriptive writing in this work. You feel the story through the writing. Some of the feelings are uncomfortable, like sweaty legs sticking to your seat, but the fact that you find yourself making a face as you read those descriptions is a good thing.
My picks are a collection of reviews from fellow short story authors. I've tried to procure stories from different genres, from a wide variety of authors. Most importantly, you'll know how long it will take you to finish reading them.
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