I love Lou Yardley’s short fiction. It’s so imaginative, exciting, and contains a wonderful blend of horror and humor.
As each of these stories only takes about 30 minutes to read, I thought I’d put my reviews together into one post.
12 year old Georgia thinks she’s too old to play make believe with her 9 year old brother, Oliver. However, after one last game of Dragon, the siblings are lured into the forest behind their house, only to discover just how dangerous, dark and deep the woods are.
This is a classic horror story. There’s the conflict between the siblings, the hint at karmic retribution, the monsters hiding in the everyday, and the redemptive power of sacrifice.
I loved Georgia, and how she tried to be the adult to protect her little brother. The things they meet are inventive and interesting. There is some really horrible body horror – I loved it! – as well as some interesting hidden nasties.
I award The Forest Part One…
The Forest Part One is available for 99c ebook on Amazon.
Set five years after the events of Part One, the second installment is darker, more imaginative, and more fantastical than its predecessor.
We get to find out what happened to siblings, Georgia and Oliver, where they went, and the devastating (and realistic) fall out from the first installment.
I loved the new ideas introduced in Part Two, especially with Georgia. There are some heavy themes, and I wish Yardley had expanded this story into a novella to explore them fully.
I love Part Two, but it has left me clamoring for part three!
I award The Forest Part Two…
The Forest Parts One and Two is available for $7.99 paperback on Amazon.
After the sun goes dark, Lexi hides in her house, afraid of the human and inhuman creatures that might break in.
This story really frustrated me initially. It starts with the sun going away, which immediately piqued my interest in temperature drops, weather changes, animal and plant death rates, and the reason for the sun’s disappearance.
However, this story isn’t about that. The lack of sun is a maguffin, setting the stage for what this story is really about. Agoraphobia, paranoia and overwhelming fear.
Once I realized to ignore the why, I enjoyed this atmospheric tale about being housebound.
I award When the Sun Sets…
When the Sun Sets is available for $2.70 ebook and $7.99 print book on Amazon.
Helmund is attacked by bloodthirsty winged beasties while working the night shift.
Yardley writes well and this is an entertaining, simple short story.
This story is set in Yardley’s fantasy world of Venari, which left me scratching my head. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been set in our world, where the juxtaposition of reality and fantasy would have played more effectively.
However, as it’s set in Venari, I’m left with questions. What is silversnuff? Why doesn’t Helmund know that fairies exist? Why does he think fairies would be nice? What kind of deal does the boss have with the fairies and why is it so easily broken?
This story is frustrating because the elements are there to make it great if only they had been fleshed out more.
I award Snuff Fairies…
Snuff Fairies is available for free when you sign up to Lou Yardley’s newsletter on her website.