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on Jan. 20, 2013 :
“The Chosen Voice” describes sharp and driven student journalist Christine’s attempt to launch her career by interviewing Darren Brown, a young man with a remarkable talent and a mysterious past. It is set against the backdrop of an intricate and well-thought out world that combines a smattering of Western fantasy tropes with distinct Japanese cultural influences, all within a setting that is modern in a way that makes it easily relatable.
The story proves to be highly enjoyable. At the end I was left eager to find out more about the details of the fictional setting and its history. The narration is concise but richly descriptive, and it boasts a good sense of humor. The passage of time felt a little disjointed at certain points in the story, but it flowed smoothly overall. As for the major characters, I did not find Christine particularly likeable, though I felt that this was the author’s intent. It did leave me feeling less than convinced about her journalist skills, as her antagonistic approach to other characters seems like it would be counterproductive in getting people to be open with her. She is well-written, however, and her characterization is consistent over the course of the story. I was also very curious to find out more about her past and about what might have led her to become the type of person that she is. I hope to learn more about her in subsequent appearances. In contrast to Christine, Darren came across as much more likeable and even charming, even as he admits to being a habitual liar, who has chosen to run away from his responsibilities. Though much of the mystery surrounding him is elucidated within the pages of the story, we are left with the tantalizing knowledge that some of his secrets have yet to be revealed. Both characters are depicted as believable and three-dimensional, even though we have the limited space of a short story in which to get to know them.
On the whole, I was impressed with “The Chosen Voice” and I look forward to reading the other stories in the “Treading Twisted Lines” series.
(reviewed long after purchase)