I'm a writer. I write vampire stories where everybody's just really worried about their marriages and being bullied in school.
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Smashwords book reviews by Winfield Trail
- What happened to Jory and other dark departures
on Feb. 05, 2012
"What happened to Jory and other dark departures" is two things - it's five or so excellent short stories that had me thoroughly entertained, and a few others that don't seem to be entirely sure what they're doing there.
For those five stories, Gary Henry is some kind of literary chisel, sculpting brief, tightly-written worlds for brief and exciting stories from the metaphorical clay of the blank page. I never once felt that he explained too much, and only once thought he explained too little.
The main purpose of this collection is, I suspect, to introduce Cuigirtha and his roman-slaying background, as a prelude to his novel which is supposed to emerge sometime this year. In this capacity it did well, because I am eagerly anticipating the book!
The downside of this collection is that a few of the stories, as said, don't fit so well. It's common for a short story collection to have a limited number of "real" stories - that is, tales that have emotional impact - so as to keep the reader from suffering too much emotional churn as they invest in scenario after scenario in close succession. In this case nothing too jarring occurs and the quality of the writing is high throughout, but the lower degree of emotional realism in 'The Husband's Tale' clashes particularly noticeably against the dark whimsy of 'What Happened to Jory' before it, and 'A barbarian in Rome' after.
Mr. Henry does strive to keep a balance between the lighthearted and the serious, which he is mostly successful in. I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and when it was over I tried turning the page on my reader several times, just in case, because I was willing to accept that perhaps I had hallucinated the 'About the Author' blurb at the end. That's a good thing, this is a good book, and you should make a good decision and pick it up.