Book Review: Dead Reckoning

 

Dead Reckoning and other Stories is a collection of ten short stories featuring a cast of characters all in need of some serious therapy.

The description says quite a bit about the stories contained, but it does not prepare you for the roller coaster rides each of them contains.  While I am not a fan of short stories – just because they ARE short – this anthology definitely has quite a bit going for it.

Where most short stories elect to focus on either world building or character development, David has managed to pack a powerful punch of both into most of these tales.  A couple lean more one way or the others, but all of them have these elements.  This makes the stories both better and worse.  Better, because they are more enjoyable.  Worse (for me) because I’m not ready for them to end.  A couple of times, David does go back and revisit a few of his characters in a second story, and when this happens there is a nice continuity between the two.

There was a choice David used for assembling this anthology that surprised and delighted me.  He chose to put the author’s comments about each tale AFTER the story in question.  I have rarely seen this done, but when I do, I enjoy it.  This lets you dive straight into the story without any “hash” or “static” created by the comments.  And, with each of these stories self-contained, every word is precious.  You don’t want to miss one or two worrying about something the author said in his comments.

Most of these stories are science fiction, though a few do edge towards science fantasy, so if you enjoy either of these genres, this book is a wonderful introduction to a fun, new Canadian author.

I finished this a while back, and have been sitting on writing the review every since.  Because it is a collection, I’ve been debating about addressing each tale individually, or to find a more general sweeping method.  I settled on the more general method, but if you wish a break down of the ten tales, please feel free to let me know in the comments.  These are all good, and fully enjoyable in their own right.  Definitely a keeper, and well worth all four out of five stars.  (David, you lose the star because I want to see what you do with several of these shorts as full length novels.  Definitely a personal issue, not an author issue.)

If you enjoyed the review, and wish to pick up a copy, you can get it here on Amazon.

If you enjoyed the review, please stop by my offered services page and send me a submission.  I’ll be glad to consider almost all genres, though science fiction and fantasy books get priority.

Until next time…

Happy reading!

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