****I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
This is going to be an interesting review. “The Reflection Collection” is an anthology of nine short stories that range in topics and varying genres. Everything from sci-fi to cyberpunk to fantasy, with each story written in a style reminiscent of a dry textbook assigned for class reading in college. The stories range in length, but none are particularly long, and only a few are related to one another, otherwise they are their own self-contained universes. Some of the stories are written with a dry humor that you’ll miss if you aren’t paying attention, and some are a bit more “crass” than others, so they really do run the gamut. It makes it hard to review as some stories were more enjoyable than others, but because there are nine of these short stories, I won’t be reviewing each one individually because that will end up being longer than the book itself. So I’ll be looking at the book as a whole, and needless to say, it is definitely best suited for a particular kind of reader…
One common thread for all the stories, is the lack of world building. The authors all start their stories as if the reader is already familiar with the world and setting these tales take place in, so the story instead focuses on the psychological mindset of the main character. So if you care more about a mind trip, then this is perfect for you. Me personally, I wanted more world building so I could better familiarize myself with the places I was suddenly thrust into, it would have made the characters thought process make a bit more sense, as I’d better know the exterior factors affecting them.
If you are a fan of a more sophisticated and dry writing style with tones of humor buried in the subtext, then this is a great collection for you. For me, I felt myself zoning out as I was reading as the language and style felt like a college textbook, and it never quite captured my attention. When I caught myself doing that, I forced myself to focus, and then I’d see some of that dry humor, but it was never enough to suck me in and keep me immersed in these various worlds.
Ultimately, it turns out this is not the book for me, but I can see why others would enjoy it. Really, if more world building had been present so it wasn’t just a look at these various worlds through a kind of memoir style recollection from different characters, I’d probably give the book a higher rating, but too often I was just trying to get through it. The writing style is interesting though, and I applaud all the SAT words they managed to use in a way that made sense, but I have trouble giving this book higher than a 2.75 star rating.
Click the book images to see them on Amazon!