This is a Reading Good Books review.
Isle of Stumps refers to the first story in this three-piece collection. All three stories have military themes. The first one was about fitting in with the population, with how they look like, even though the norm looks grotesque and ‘unnatural’ to us. Set in the dystopian future, a would-be warrior fails his final test and gets thrown out into the sea to die. He ends up on a strange island with an even stranger population. It was scary, the lengths he had to go to in order to fit in.
Swallowing a Boot is set at Army boot camp. The recruits are under the watchful eye of a harsh drill sergeant. They wanted more food and soda and other junk that they are not allowed to have while in basic training. One of them sneaks out but nothing escapes the eye of Drill Sergeant Petri. (It does not have anything to do with the collection’s title.) I didn’t get it, really. I mean, I am very familiar with the whole military basic training and all that, so I appreciated that aspect. But I didn’t get the point of the story.
The third short story is Eight Legs to Doomsday. It is about an alien race threatening to wipe out the humans with the use of poisonous spiders. They are minuscule creatures and they do their job while inside robotic spiders, relying on the arachnophobia of some humans. I liked this story the most. A team goes into mutiny and tries to stop the invasion. In the end… well, the ending was the fun part.
The book also includes an excerpt of the author’s debut novel An Epitaph for Coyote, which I will not review on this post.
Recommendation: I gave it a three because it’s not the best but it’s also not bad. It’s very quick read, if you’re looking for something to pull you out of your boredom.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)