Outcasts: Short Stories by Tom C. Underhill by Tom C. Underhill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book for review.
This was a wonderful of short stories. Overall I gave it 4 stars but of course some of the stories are more and some a bit less but all are good and very much worth reading.
Ghostwriter I had read previously and gave 5 stars. This short story begins with the unknown author asking for your help with vengenance against someone who has murdered his family and mentor. As you read on he explains that just reading the story to the end will be enough for him to be revenged altho how this is to happen is never explained only implied. If you didn't want to participate all you had to do was quit reading but once you started this story you felt compelled to finish it. This was a very unusual and original story however I did find it to be quite dark. Another reviewer had mentioned that they wished Underhill would expand this story into a novel and I tend to agree. I would love to know more about what happened before and after but then again it would take some of the mystery away which is one of the most intriguing aspects of it. Overall I loved it and would recommend it to any fan of a good ghost story.
Branded Faith: 4 stars. This is a very original short story. A young man with a gift the Stranger was adopted into a religious order. They see him as a healer and a savior while he only sees it as a curse. The sadness and lonliness of the Stranger are very evident almost overwhelming in fact. I would love to read a longer version of this story. There is definite potential for this to be a wonderful full length novel.
Smile: 4 stars. This very original story was super creepy to say the least. Tammy feels invisible but it may be more than just a feeling.
Permanence: 4 stars. A group of soldiers find themsleves marooned on an island with their captain incapacitated. I loved the characters and thought this story was very well written. It had a Robinson Crusoe feel too it just a bit more modern.
Time Trick: 4 Stars. A man in a loveless marriage finds that when he has sex with a prostitute named Claudia he is able to relive moments of his past that changes his present life. A very original story with a teaser ending that really leaving you wanting the story to continue.
Splintered: 3.5 stars. A young man finds that his life is in turmoil. His world is being torn apart as possible realities merge. He encounters strangers along the way that know him. The story is unique however not unpredictable. I could definitely see where things were heading.
Charted Waters: 3.5 stars. Sailors find themselves trapped in the ocean by an unknown anomally. The concept here is definitely original but just a bit bizarre.
Low-Limb High: 3 stars. Caroline is a teenager in a broken home. She lives with her mother after her father and brother have both left. She searches for answers as to why her family is tore apart with the help of a family heirloom. My issue with this one is with everyone being so judgemental. There's always more than one side to a story and thats all we see here. Caroline wants to know why her father left but never asks why he doesn't contact her. There are so many more issues here than what is addressed.
Revisions: 3 stars. Not even sure where to start here. This story to me was the most bizarre. It starts out after Blake has died and then he finds himself in different points in history with specific instructions that are difficult to carry out. This story was definitely a new perspective on things but not my favorite of the collection.
Overall I loved this collection of stories and would recommend it to anyone who loves sci fi or short stories.
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