The Detained Paperback – March 20, 2018
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- Publisher : Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing (March 20, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 112 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1943720266
- ISBN-13 : 978-1943720262
- Item Weight : 4.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.29 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,328,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This novella is a harrowing tale that smashes together The Breakfast Club with Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Naturally, this goes south very quickly. When these five are the only ones to arrive, they realize very quickly that something’s wrong. These characters have matured a bit, but wear adulthood like a mask over the self-destructive high school stereotypes they thought they’d left behind.
The opening is a little slow, but this is to be expected. If anything, the slowness as people awkwardly reintroduce themselves feels very natural, which serves to highlight just how different they are as the story continues.
Those who don’t mind pushing through the occasional block of information will be rewarded with a frantic, surreal ending, where the mundane setting the story opens with is soon replaced by a Jacob’s Ladder nightmare world of anguish and dismay.
The Detained moves fast and hits hard. It’s exactly the right length, providing quality description without needing to dwell on subplots and background info just to reach that ‘novel’ status. The end might be a tad predictable to some, while others might thinks it’s either too nice or too sudden, but it’s definitely the right ending for a story like this.
This story, which harbors both abuse and repentance in its heart, is especially relevant for both the younger and older crowds. Combine these universal themes with a few high school tropes we all love to hate, and there’s something for everyone
I finished The Detained a few days ago and I've been stewing how I'm going to write my review. Obviously I gave two stars so I did have some issues. Before I start don't think that this is only a negative review. So I'm actually going to start with the positive.
The premise of the story is intriguing. Four former classmates and a former teacher end up at a reunion. Only it's not a real union since they are the only ones there and it's setup like detention with items that bring back haunting memories for each person. That's all I needed to be interested to see what happens. We are introduced to each character and later given more detail about each one. All of this takes place over the span of the book, it never feels rushed and is placed at the perfect time. All of this combined kept me turning page after page up to the last maybe 10 pages or so. Kristopher Triana definitely has talent with his story telling but there is some work to be done-at least with The Detained.
So here's where it went wrong. There are mild spoilers ahead. My first issue was how everyone too easily decided a ghost was the cause for all the weird stuff happening. Yes they initially blamed each other (and mainly Phoebe even though what she did really wasn't cruel at all- lesbian or not) but that didn't last long then instantly went to ghost. Not family members or a friend that maybe none of the characters knew about but ghost. I was able to let that slide a little. I did find it strange that Dixon died and it just kind of happened and Champ and Sandy never really asked or wondered what happened to him. They bought in to he's exploring too easily. Where the story reaches its climax is where everything went downhill for me. Sandy and Champ's deaths fit into the story well enough but Tyler's just felt forced to me. Then the gym fills with blood which goes beyond a ghost's capabilities just like the snow during summertime. Then Phoebe magically goes from the tunnel behind the stage to the bathroom where Graham spent his last moments then emerges from the school to the parking lot where all the cars are. All of these events came out of nowhere. I get this is supposed to be the doings of Graham's ghost but it's too far-fetched for me. Now for the biggest problem for me personally. I don't know if I missed something along the way or maybe the ending is lost on me but did all the pills Phoebe took at the beginning cause hallucinations? Extreme ones where she actually injured herself not Sandy? Was this all a dream? Did she ever actually go into the school? If it was a dream or hallucination then why are there other cars? I tried to go back and reread this part but I still have the same questions. Up until Tyler killed himself I was very engrossed but after that I was left with the above confusion.
There is potential here but unfortunately the ending let me down. Even with that I'm thankful I was selected to read this early and give my honest opinion.
What happens when they all show up in the old high school gymnasium expecting their 20-year reunion and award ceremony - and instead find themselves in an almost empty room set up for detention?
What happens when the little reminders of a former classmate start showing up?
You get "The Breakfast Club" – blended with a substantial dose of supernatural revenge.
I feel like any more of a description would start to give away the plot – so I will stop there. "The Detained" was an enjoyable novella, filled with a solid cast of characters and a healthy measure of violence. The story evolves quickly, without feeling rushed, and organically weaves enough backstory in to bring the reader up to speed and without pulling the reader away from of the story.
My only complaint – as it often the case with novellas and short stories – is that I wanted the characters to feel more fleshed out. They all had unique voices, but I wanted to understand their escalating behavior more. I wanted more of the ‘why.’ This is not so much a critique of the author as it is of the format.
Overall, a recommended read – especially now in 2018. Not to get too political, but in this era of commonplace school violence and bullying, this is a very timely read.
Do yourselves a favor and check out Kristopher Triana – he is one of the most refreshing voices coming out of this new generation of horror novelists!