Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody by Joe Canzano


Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody by Joe Canzano
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (306 pages)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Peony

When outlaw Suzy Spitfire discovers her father was murdered after creating a super-duper artificial intelligence, she races across the solar system in search of the brain he built—but it’s a rough ride, and she’s soon forced to tangle with pirates, predators, and her father’s killer—as well as a man she thinks she can love.

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody is a smash-bang sci-fi adventure filled with action, intrigue, and a dose of dark humor.

Joe Canzano’s fast paced action Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody begins with a bang and never slows down. The author himself has a few books under his belt, but perhaps none quite so eye catching as this, with the very first hook delivered by a title that you can’t help but give a second glance to. As of this writing, Joe has already written five books and his talent with action adventure shows through the page with pulse pounding excitement. It is hard not to pick up a book with such a bodacious title, but once you do it may be harder still to put it down.

What kind of wild ride is this book? The initial hook hints at either an action or a comedy, or a mixture of both. Without spoiling the excitement, I can say with certainty it is an action. While there are a few running gags to be had, the chuckles are clearly not the focus of this story and shouldn’t be what guides your choice. For some the jokes may fall flat entirely and really, they’re pretty sparse, making this book clearly aimed at the action crowd. Luckily the action hook doesn’t make you wait, the story opens with a bang within the first half dozen pages. For those seeking an explosive read, the book does try to deliver, though initially at least it may seem mindless. Almost for the entire book the narrative focus is on the external, the events that happen, but not the why. Internal narrative, the emotions driving the actors or the drama is almost entirely neglected. Ultimately this book most closely resembles the summer blockbuster action flick, lot of muscle, but not a long of mind.

Because the book is so heavily slanted to the goings on and not the reasons why and because it opens to a gunfight so soon, there is little to no room for development before explosions start happening. The book does start to talk about romance and hint at the possibility, before building a character whose romance would matter to you, let alone if they live or die. In order to have any sense of worry or concern for the safety or the characters you’ll have to read on for quite a while, because for the most part nothing truly developmental happens until a good third into the book. The approach seems to be very whimsical, with ideas tossed out randomly and sometimes contradicting themselves on the same page. If the book had a planned armature, or guiding principal or moral I cannot say what it was, the story really doesn’t lend well to analysis, preferring to be the roller coaster that you’re just along for the ride.

That isn’t to say the book doesn’t manage some impressive feats in terms of development and change. For instance our titular character is very rash to begin, but is forced to depend on others. Whether or not she can or will allow anyone to take control, help her out or solve a situation for her quickly becomes a running theme for the story. Other aspects that worked well is her view of sexuality. There is romance in the story, but it largely fades and leaves it to the reader’s imagination. Free loving or not is a theme that gets some attention in that the characters may be laid back about whom and when they engage romantically with people. The book simply does not judge a woman for taking control of her own sexuality, nor for being strong in her own right and features more than one example of both. LGBT is not included in this book, but nor is it spoken against and male and females are capable in this story of having meaningful friendships with both genders without being judged or painted into a box. This gives the reader the opportunity to draw their own conclusions and for some the absence may bother them. There is a lot of sexual tension to be had and virtually no one, especially female, is going to escape the possibility of a romantic storyline or two.

One of the main driving forces of this book is the action and the tense moments which tend to be the glue holding sections together. They’re constant and can seem overwrought in many ways. The biggest problems, besides the earlier mentioned lack of development, is that the story does tend to contradict itself and use questionable means to escape situations. For instance, at one point a room is described as lacking cover for the bad guys, but then a few sentences later the same room is described as having plenty of cover once Suzy needs it. Additionally the way situations are escaped can range wildly from deus ex machina to well thought-out and clever. The movie analogy really fits there, where as it isn’t hard to imagine the action movie with bad guys unable to hit anything and good guys with seemingly perfect aim.

Overall recommending this book depends more on the individual reading it than anything else. Summer blockbusters are hugely popular and this book captures a lot of that excitement within its pages. Despite the early lack of development, it actually manages to catch up as the book goes on and deliver some deeper than expected characters and interactions, all while not slowing the pace down. For the right reader this book could be an amazing fit and will surely make you wonder what else Joe’s library of work contains. He’s certainly proven that he can make exciting action and if that is something you enjoy reading then you should definitely not pass up Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody.

The Demigod’s Legacy by Holley Trent


The Demigod’s Legacy by Holley Trent
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (192 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Stars
Review by: Sorrel

Six hundred years after losing his wife and son to his cousin’s deadly scheme, the demigod cougar shifter known as Tito Perez still refuses to take a mate. He couldn’t protect his family in pre-colonial Tenochtitlan where Aztec gods freely roamed, and he won’t risk endangering another in modern New Mexico.

Too bad he doesn’t know he already has one from a tender affair with a sweet bar waitress he abandoned.

After waiting five years for Tito to return to his senses, December Farmer tracks her daughter’s absentee father to the small town of Maria, New Mexico, to make him step up, but he’s not the only one in for a shock. The town is overrun with supernatural beings and, apparently, her daughter, Cruz, is one of them.

December isn’t sure she can stomach being the mate of an immortal shapeshifter, but the stakes are higher for Tito. His cousin intends, yet again, to take away the only things Tito holds dear, and this time, Tito may have no choice but to cast his precious humanity aside and become the unflinching warrior he’s never wanted to be.

A paranormal romance with a fantasy element woven into it, this novel has romance, shifters, gods, goddesses, sacrifices, angels, fallen angels, guardian angels…

The Demigod’s Legacy is definitely not a boring read at all. It kept me on my toes. Tito and December have a chemistry that is out of this world and the results are even more amazing.

I thought this book would be an ordinary shifter mate romance where the male was a little stupid and left the best thing that could happen to him along the way. But as I read further, I realized there was a whole lot of backstory to fill in the blanks. I was right in December’s shoes–that girl gets overwhelmed. However, I was into the story and the author knew when to offset the angst with romance and chemistry. The minor characters were really attractive – from the guardian angel that Cruz has, to the Immortal Gods/Goddesses and Demigods. I’d love to read their stories, too!

From start to finish this book really grabbed me.

Taming the Cyborg by Anne Kane


Taming the Cyborg by Anne Kane
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (67 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Although he doesn’t understand why his brother chose to bond with a human female, Noah agrees to be the official cyborg witness at the birth of the cyborg/human couple’s first son. When he arrives on the human space station, he finds himself face to face with a female pilot, an unheard of occupation for a female on the cyborg home world of Terras Five. Hailey’s cute, she’s sassy, she’s sexy and she doesn’t automatically defer to him just because he’s male. Noah finds that combination irresistible.

After a night of amazing sex, Hailey heads off on a reconnaissance mission with her squadron, and Noah arranges to spend a little more time in the human world to get the sassy redhead out of his system. But when her ship goes missing, it’s up to Noah to use all the tricks of his cyborg heritage to track her down and rescue her.

Anne Kane captured my attention with this sexy Sci-Fi/Fantasy story.

Taming the Cyborg was a fast paced book that had me completely immersed in the plot that flowed smoothly from beginning to end. It was exciting and romantic with characters that I adored. Noah was a Cyborg who fell boots over heart in love with a sassy red haired human fighter pilot. Hailey was a spitfire who knew exactly what she wanted. I loved her strength and independent spirit. There was a romantic vibe when Noah immediately rushed off to save his little warrior woman. Of course, they had a few bumps to make it over but by the end of the story the author had me craving my very own bossy Cyborg to sweep me off of me feet.

I really enjoyed this short story and absolutely recommend it to anyone.

Trouble My Bones by L. Joseph Shosty


Trouble My Bones by L. Joseph Shosty
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Historical, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (115 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

In a magical land where demons walk and assassination is exalted as a moral enterprise, Elihu the Poisoner must defend a gentle innkeeper from a gang of cutthroats with only tradition and etiquette as weapons.

On Planet Whiskey, a train rockets towards the northern pole. Onboard, five men play a game of poker, but this is only the beginning of a breathtaking journey into a world of corrupt businessmen, hapless ice harvesters, and the wise, world-weary men in the middle, torn between doing what is right and playing along with an immoral system to get a bigger piece of the post-Earth dream.

A couple of cowboys running a herd to Fort Smith, Arkansas pause in the untraveled wilds to offer tribute to a mysterious creature, and in doing so anger malevolent forces which lurk there.
Trouble My Bones…

A dazzling masterpiece of storytelling, this collection contains ten of L. Joseph Shosty’s best stories. Here, you’ll find pulpy adventure yarns and quieter, more introspective pieces alike, all with Shosty’s unique blend of humor and thought-provoking ideas.

Just because a place looks quiet and ordinary doesn’t mean it won’t surprise you if given the chance.

The main character in “An Incident in Cain’s Mark” travelled to a small town in order to settle the estate of his uncle. Cain’s Mark was no ordinary town, though, and he soon realized that something dangerous happened there after dark every night. The narrator spent a generous amount of time setting the scene before anything out of the ordinary began to occur, so I felt like I’d gotten to know him and the strange community he was visiting well. Knowing that something was terribly wrong there without having any clue what it might be only made me more curious to read more.

One of the few tales in this collection that needed more development was “Crippled Sucker.” The plot followed a group of people playing a high-stakes game of poker while they discussed business deals on an alien planet. I found it difficult to keep track of all of the characters, especially once they started talking about other characters who weren’t in the room. It would have been nice to have more clues about who was who and how they all knew each other. With that being said, the storyline itself was well done and I did enjoy it overall.

“Zombie Love Song” showed what happened after humans found themselves in a long, bloody war with zomboes, which is the name the characters in this universe gave to zombies. The narrator was someone who had trouble adjusting to ordinary life after seeing and participating in so much violence. One of the things I liked the most about his storytelling was how blasé he was about things that would terrify the average person. I didn’t have to be told he’d been permanently changed by his experience. Little details like this were more than enough to show his devastation, and that made his tale impossible to put down.

Trouble My Bones was a solid collection of imaginative science fiction stories. I’d strongly recommend it to everyone who is a fan of this genre.

Magic Spark by Sara Dobie Bauer, Em Shotwell, Wendy Sparrow


Magic Spark by Sara Dobie Bauer, Em Shotwell, Wendy Sparrow
Enchanted Book One

Publisher: Pen and Kink Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (215 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

The first of a trio of trilogies by three amazing romance writers. These stories all have two things in common: magic and romance!

“When Demigods Court Death” by Wendy Sparrow:
As the demigod of fertility, Aster Slone has a thriving doctor’s practice. In fact, the incidence of triplets has made it too thriving. He needs more time with his neighbor the demigoddess of death to dampen his powers. Chandra Linton being gorgeous and sweet makes his task less of a hardship. Hitting the zenith of heretofore-unknown powers without enough exposure to her match is killing Chandra. Accepting all that her crazy, but hot neighbor says is her destiny…well, it muddles her convictions, but her real concern is: does Aster want Chandra because she’s the woman he desires or because she’s Death?

“These Roots Run Deep” by Em Shotwell:
Spitfire, New Orleans weather girl, Cheyanne Murphey has everything, and that is exactly how she likes it. When she discovers evidence of her fiancé’s philandering, she refuses to let her perfectly cultivated image fall to pieces. Cheyanne has worked too hard, dragging herself up from the trailer park into New Orleans’ society, to give in without a fight…even if that means trading a year of her life in exchange for a love incantation from her ancestor’s spell book.
A skyclad, moonlit dance, a mysterious potion, and magic gone awry leave Cheyanne with a very peculiar life lesson: love can take on many forms, so be careful what you wish for.

“Destiny’s Dark Light” by Sara Dobie Bauer:
In modern day Charleston, lonely white witch Cyan Burroughs has waited her whole life to lead the battle against dark witches and eventually meet the man she is fated to love. A tragic trolley accident brings Liam Cody into her life. He is her destiny, but he’s also in love with someone else. Now, Cyan and her magic family must find the dark witch who caused the accident while Cyan fights her feelings for Liam—a charming Irishman with secrets of his own.

This book is contains three books written by different authors.

When Demigods Court Death by Wendy Sparrow

Chandra always feels down and can’t understand why others always feel ill or afraid when around her. Her neighbor moves in and his balcony explodes with greenery, she immediately feels a lifting of her spirits.
Chandra and Aster are opposites. I became very engrossed when their story unfolded in a most intriguing way. Their personalities came across very well, allowing me to enjoy the story and at the same time wonder how they would resolve their difficulties.

These Roots Run Deep by Em Shotwell

Another unusual story. What to do when you’re a witch and the love of your life cheats on you? Set in New Orleans, the three witch sisters have taken over from their recently deceased grandmother, but when Cheyanne discovers her fiancé Brett is cheating, she talks her two siblings into casting a spell to make sure Brett remains with her. It’s a case of be careful what you wish for. Good story.

Destiny’s Dark Light – Part One by Sara Dobie Bauer

A family of witches where the youngest one has yet to come into her powers. When Cyan finds her soul mate her powers are supposed to evolve, but all is not as it seems. Her soul mate is with someone else. A catastrophe muddles the waters even further.

I loved this story, unusual plot with humor and tragedy. I was bit put out when I found the end finished with the words “to be continued”. Now I have to wait until the author writes the next bit. Good story and well worth reading.

Despite being by three different authors, this book enthralled me and I eagerly went from story to story. Excellent read.

The Princess and the Swineherd by Michael Bracken


The Princess and the Swineherd by Michael Bracken
Publisher: Deep Desires Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Other: F/F, Toys
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Princess Maegth is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom, and, like many others, a young, female swineherd named Hunig has a crush on her.

When the evil wizard Vilemort abducts the beautiful princess, Hunig joins the search. In the company of a broken-down knight named Fearn-leah of Heathfield, Hunig trails the wizard and his entourage, battles dwarves transformed into swine, and faces physical and emotional challenges.

During the search for the princess, Hunig discovers herself. After rescuing the princess, she reveals her feelings and discovers the feelings are reciprocated.

But there isn’t time to become complacent. Vilemort and his dwarves are hot on their trail. Can Hunig prevent Vilemort from stealing the princess back, can she keep the broken-down knight from claiming credit for rescuing the princess, and can true love win the day?

It takes a very special kind of person to win a princess’ heart.

The world building was really well done. I actually wondered if I’d accidentally stumbled into the middle of a series when I first began reading because of how well-developed and beautifully-described the setting was. While my first guess didn’t turn out to be correct, I was impressed by how much attention Mr. Bracken paid to all of the little details that make such a big difference in how a reader imagines what a faraway place would really be like to visit.

There was a lot of telling the audience what was happening instead of showing it to us in this story. Some of the most exciting and interesting scenes were only given a few sentences worth of attention before the narrator moved on to the next part of the plot. It would have been nice to see how those scenes played out for myself instead of them being quickly explained and then brushed aside like that.

Maegth and Hunig had fantastic chemistry. At first I was a little surprised by how quickly their relationship moved when they first met, but they were so well-suited for each other that it made sense for them to jump in and start exploring their attraction to each other right away. Their personalities were so compatible that I completely understood why they were into each other as well as why neither of them had any interest in taking things slow.

The Princess and the Swineherd should be read by anyone who is in the mood for a sultry fairytale.

Suck the Savage Beast by James Cox


Suck the Savage Beast by James Cox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (86 pages)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Earth beasts are sexier than he expected…

Welliver is a scientist first and an Outlaw MC member second. He’s the smartest man on the crew that’s exploring Earth to create a new home. But when a monster attacks them and he’s separated from the crew, he is saved by a savage and sexy beast.

The beast doesn’t remember his name. He was sent to the Earth prison when he was a boy and left behind when the prison was evacuated. Beast has spent nearly twenty years alone on Earth, trying to survive this dangerous world. He’s the best hope humans have for staying alive with these new threats.

Beast doesn’t understand it’s not okay to lick strangers, or the whole wearing clothes thing, but neither man is prepared for the attraction between them. Welliver will have to pull on his Outlaw MC heritage to endure the wilds of Earth but how will survive the savage beast?

Suck the Savage Beast has an intriguing plot idea and gives readers an interesting look at what could happen to our own world. Welliver is part of a small party that has left Mars and returned to Earth to see if it is inhabitable again. Humans have long since ruined and abandoned Earth for Mars but it seems that they have now also ruined what they made of Mars. The creatures that they encounter upon their return are nothing but dangerous and the crew must learn how to survive against them. A chance encounter has Welliver fighting for his life but an unexpected man comes to his rescue. Beast has lived alone on Earth for years now. Yet one encounter with Welliver and he claims the man as his own. What will Welliver decide? Can the crew find a way to live on Earth again and what will happen to their friends and family left on Mars?

I really liked the ideas in this book. Earth has been so polluted and destroyed humans left for another planet and yet they repeated the same mistakes and destroyed what they made on that planet. It makes you think a bit about what we are doing to the planet right now. Welliver and the rest of the people that make up the team are an interesting bunch. Each character had a good personality but they did not stand out. Welliver and Beast make a good couple and it was nice to see the two find their way. As much as I enjoyed the story-line it seemed to lack something for me. There was no real depth to the characters or their relationships for me. I did not connect that much with the characters making the story feel bland to me. I think that if the story was a bit longer we could have seen some more depth to the relationship and the characters, bringing them more alive to me.

Welliver and Beast’s story moves along at a nice pace and It was nice to see these two find their way to a happy place. Love can be found in the most unusual places and these two learn to fight for that love. This book is an interesting addition to this series and I am interested to see where it goes from here.

Chimera Catalyst by Susan Kuchinskas


Chimera Catalyst by Susan Kuchinskas
Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (192 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Who Decides What is Human…The

Corporations, Clones or Chimera?

When Finder is hired to locate charismatic, green-haired Miraluna Rose, it seems like an easy job. Crack into corporate databases, brew up some biologics to enhance his thinking, and get the job done with the help of the Parrot, a bird/dog chimera with the finest traits of both species.

The search takes Finder and the Parrot to the sun-broiled streets of Laxangeles, the canals of Seattle and the weirdly mutated vegetation of the Area. It turns out that it’s not a simple missing-person case after all.

Finder discovers that ReMe, a corporation providing medical cloning services, is illegally breeding human/animal chimeras. ReMe is selling these exotically beautiful female creatures, branded as ArcoTypes, as playthings to the wealthy and ruthless.

Miraluna Rose is its finest creation, but she has other ideas. She’s holed up at Refuge, a haven for ArcoTypes, where she’s planning a future of freedom for her sisters. To help the ArcoTypes fight ReMe, Finder and the Parrot will need the help of a couple of sympathetic AIs, the CEO of the world’s largest advertising company and a posse of highly modded, celebrity-crazed media kids.

This exciting adventure is a must read for anyone concerned about where our world and humanity is possibly headed…

Sometimes science causes just as many problems as it solves.

The world building was wonderful. Ms. Kuchinskas’ vision of what life will be like in a few generations was as chilling as it was fascinating. I especially liked her descriptions of how climate change seriously affected the lives of everyone in this society no matter how wealthy or well-connected they were. They painted a very thorough picture of how a culture attempted to rebuild itself after nearly being completely destroyed. What impressed me even more was that this was only one of about a dozen examples of the author stretching her ideas out until they’d reached their logical conclusion. She made me feel like I’d really traveled to the future, and that made it impossible for me to stop reading.

I would have liked to see a little more time spent on character development. While Finder’s personality was described with plenty of detail, there wasn’t enough attention paid to how he changed over the course of the plot. The changes I noticed in him were pretty subtle even though he experienced some pretty exciting, frightening, and unimaginable things during his adventures. There were so many opportunities for him to grow as a person. Had he taken advantage of a few more of them, this book would have easily earned a much higher rating from me as I loved everything else about it.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about the mystery was how much effort it required from me to find any major clues at all. I hadn’t know that kind of storyline was waiting for me when I first began reading, so it was even more fun than usual to shift the way I interpreted certain scenes and start paying attention to anything that might give me a hint about who Miraluna Rose was or why Finder was being paid so handsomely to discover what happened to her.

Chimera Catalyst was the perfect blend of science fiction and mystery. I’d heartily recommend it to fans of either genre!

Water Into Wine by Joyce Chng


Water Into Wine by Joyce Chng
Publisher: Annorlunda Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (62 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When war comes to your planet, everything changes.. perhaps even the meaning of family and identity.

Xin inherits a vineyard on a distant planet, and moves there to build a life… but an interstellar war intervenes. Will Xin’s dreams of a new life get caught in the crossfire? Xin’s understanding of family and sense of self must evolve to cope with the changes brought by life on a new planet and a war that threatens everything.

Most people wouldn’t worry about protecting a vineyard during a violent interstellar war, but Xin isn’t like most people.

Xin’s character development was fascinating. He was a transgender man who had recently begun questioning his gender identity yet again at the beginning of this tale. Given that he was also a single parent and the brand new owner of a vineyard despite the fact that he knew very little about growing grapes or making wine, there was plenty of room for him to evolve as a person. I deeply enjoyed seeing how Xin made decisions about everything from what his gender identity was to running a vineyard to adjusting to life on an alien planet.

There were pacing issues. Some scenes were fast-paced while others were much slower. Either writing style would have worked quite well for this tale, but I found it hard to switch between them because of how often the narrator moved from one style to the next. As soon as I adjusted to a slower form of storytelling, the pacing would pick up again with another bombing or nearby battle.

One of the things I liked the most about this story was how beautifully it described the characters and setting in such a compact number of sentences. Ms. Chng weighed out her words so precisely that she was able to show me exactly what everyone looked and sounded like in an incredibly short amount of time. The same thing can be said for her descriptions of the house, wine cellar, and vineyards. My impressions of them were strong and clear the first time she told me what they were like.

I’d recommend Water Into Wine to anyone who has ever wondered what a large battle between many spaceships would be like from the perspective of a civilian living on the ground.

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar


Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Genre: Recent Historical, Mystery/Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (180 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…

I have to admit I’m a Stephen King junkie. I am. I’m also a bit of a short story junkie, too. When I saw this book at my local library, just sitting there unassumingly on the shelf, I had to sneak a peek.I mean, why not? So I picked it up. I’m glad I did. This was a quick read and even though it’s short, when I had to put it down to deal with life, I didn’t have to do a bunch of rereading to catch back up.That’s the good thing about this short story. There isn’t a lot of rereading that needs to be done if you have to walk away.

Gwendy is an interesting character. She has an awesome power within her and within the button box. Will she use it? Will she succumb? Will she get a big head from the power? I liked that Gwendy is relatable. There are things that made her more than she was, but I liked her human-ness. Now I would’ve been more than a little freaked out if some random guy wanted me to sit with him. Even more if he’d have offered me a box. I don’t know how Gwendy did it, but she did.

I liked how she grew through the story, too. The creep factor isn’t as strong in this story, which was nice for me because I wasn’t looking for a freaky story. But might be a turn off for others. There are plenty of characters and some are hard to keep straight, by the end, I felt like I knew them all. My heart bled at the end. I won’t give away spoilers, but it’s a tad gut-wrenching.

If you want a recent historical story with more than few twists, then this might be the short story you’re looking for. Oh and try a chocolate. I hear the detailing is fantastic.