This book was reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review
Welcome to the Neoverse! Aaron Safronoff, author of the awesome young adult fantasy novel Sunborn Rising, edits this amazing collection of twenty short stories that were the result of Neoglyphic Entertainment’s writing contest. There are so many wonderful stories here, I’m hard pressed to choose just a few to discuss.
‘One Time Hero’ by Neil Chase follows superhero Orion, whose powers have caused his body to begin to shut down. Does he have one last rescue in him? This was such a touching story; a tale of morality, ethics, and above all, the value of innocence.
‘Say When’ by Pamela Bobowicz really hit home. This is the story of a family coming to terms with the fact that the mother is dying of pancreatic cancer. She is at home, surrounded and attended to by her family. The story is told from Katie’s point of view. She is the youngest daughter, and the only one still living at home. It’s a story of life, death, and how we cope, and it reminded me so much of when my grandmother was home under palliative care for end-stage renal failure. I spent many days that long summer, sitting by her bedside, going through the transition from desperately wanting her to get better, to wanting her suffering to be over.
‘Hotel Marietta’ by Sabrina Clare is a sweet story showing the value of patience. Ellie is an autistic little girl whose parents were brutally murdered. Jessica is a young woman who worked at a children’s centre before it closed, which is where she learned of Ellie. Jessica decides to take a chance, adopting Ellie and taking on the challenging task of raising an autistic child.
‘The Carving’ by M Lopes da Silva made me tear up. These people carved their deepest, darkest secrets into their jack-o’-lanterns, there for the whole town to see. Instead of dividing them, this act drew them all together. We need this sort of miracle right now in this country, gods’ truth we do. There’s too much ugly truth going around and not enough healing.
‘The Magical Worlds of Theodore Erickson: A New Beginning’ by SA Rohrbaugh was a delight to read. Theodore is the shepherd to a fascinating herd of beasties quite out of place in Charleston SC, which is why they are all invisible. Sixteen year old Charlie spots one in the ocean and makes Theodore’s acquaintance. Theodore opens his eyes to a whole new way of seeing things. Once learned, it will never be forgotten, and this most precious of gifts will allow Charlie to have adventures quite above average. There are worlds galore to explore out there. We just need the right key to unlock them.
????? Highly recommended.