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Neither one of these issues was a problem when I read Unspoken Stories - Volume 1 by B.C. Young. The stories were interesting, complete, and even though they're only a few pages each, they're long enough to get you hooked and make you care about the characters. In fact, one of the stories made me cry, and we all know that's not allowed. Even so, I'll be giving this book five stars.You can read the official summary of the stories above. Keep reading for my summary of the stories.
"Copy Bird": A post-apocalyptic survivor and what may be the smartest bird ever.
"Going Home": An emotional story of a soldier visiting his family.
"Josie Dorri and the Coffee Ban": An interesting story about choices. And coffee.
"The Present": This is one of those "Be careful what you wish for" stories. It's kind of weird, and the time travel loop threw me a bit, but it was still good.
"Running to Keep Her": This is a sweet story about lost love, but it's also a bit creepy because the guy is a tad bit obsessed.
About the book
Title: Unspoken Stories - Volume 1
Author: B.C. Young
Release date: August 25, 2011
Where I got the book: I got this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
All My Fiction has allowed me to purchase and pre-purchase everything Mr Young publishes as an independent artist. All I have to do is check for update occasionally. If there are any, I'll get the latest version. Simple. Elegant. Satisfying.
On to the review!
Mr Young has asked that I review a series of short stories called Unspoken Stories. In short, I really enjoyed them all. There are five different stories in the collection. They're sort of a quasi-sci-fi genre and all very good reads. Give yourself about 40 minutes for each. Longer for some, shorter for others. I read them all in a short afternoon while camping. I'm not a huge fan of the iPad but I do like the iBook app.
Below is a brief review of the stories and some questions I asked the Author.
Josie Dorri And The Coffee Ban (June 22, 2011)
Great story. Funny, serious and yet intriguing it should be the reason to buy this series.
What was the inspiration for Josie Dorri and the Coffee Ban?
Josie Dorri And The Coffee Ban was inspired by my brother-in-law. He said I should write a short story about someone not having their coffee for the day and all the bad things that would happen as a result. I thought about the idea and came up with using a coffee prohibition that the government institutes, and I added a little twist in there as to why things go wrong. Even though the story has a humorous tone, it does have an underlying theme about addiction and how it effects us personally and others.
The Present (May 9, 2011)
It's got you jumpin' all over the place...but you'll find your way back. It's sort of the "gift that keeps on giving" kind of story; I found my self pondering this one long after I read it.
Running To Keep Her (July 6, 2011)
Touching and challenging it's an interesting story.
Copy Bird (March 7, 2011)
I really liked this story. I wanted it to go further as well...to develop the two human characters further and to explore the relationship of the bird.
Copy Bird is based in a post-apocalyptic world. Will you be writing anything further in this genre?
I liked that setting because it fit well into my story I came up with. On several occasions people have asked me if I plan to expand on that story. I might just do that. I find when I write stories that there is back story I come up with that never gets written. Sometimes I allude to the back story. While I don't have any plans to revisit a setting like that, I definitely can't rule it out, especially since there are a lot of stories I could tell with it.
Going Home (March 18, 2011)
This is the only story that I thought a bit predictable. However, it's a good short story that will catch you if you're not careful.
Going Home seemed like a very personal story. Is there a connection with your own life that you'd be willing to share with readers?
It's a personal story in the sense that we have all lost loved ones. We often remember the last thing we said to them, and sometimes we regret it. Other times though, it might become something that we live our life by and it defines us. I came up with the idea from a flash fiction story I wrote on my blog. The story is called Home, and the picture for inspiration of it showed a porch swing, which is where the ending scene came from. It was only about 100 words or so, but I liked it so much, I decided to expand on it by writing a short story.
Will any of these stories be used to "seed" a full novel?
Unfortunately, none of these stories will become part of a novel. At the most, especially with Copy Bird and The Present, I might have sequel short stories I'll write for them. Overall, the tales are written to be short, to the point, and read in one sitting.
Unspoken Stories consists of Copy Bird, Going Home, Josie Dorri and the Coffee Ban, The Present, and Running to Keep Her. The author explained he wrote each one in a fairly short time frame; as such there are some minor editing issues, but nothing that would pull the reader from the story. One by one, my thoughts on each:
Copy Bird: A very unique present tense telling of a post-apocalyptic world. A man awakens in a burned out future society, thinking he's alone, only to hear the call of a bird, speaking to him, pulling him along to an unknown destination. This was probably my favorite of the five. Great emotion and feelings of the protagonist, and a heartwarming ending.
Going Home: A young man has leave from military service against an alien invasion sweeping the human populated worlds, and takes time to visit his family and tries to keep his promise to them. This story started and ran slow for me, but when I completed it, my thoughts on it completely turned around. Looking at it as a whole, knowing the way it ends, made it an excellent tale.
Josie Dorri and the Coffee Ban: A different way of looking at the future Big Brother type society, one where cofee is banned, both for drinking and possessing. Easy to relate to, as well as easy to compare to some of today's odd rules and regulations.
The Present: A view on time travel from a personal perspective, and a twist on "what would you do if you could" with the added facet of how it affects others. Good flow, and relatively (no pun intended) easy to follow the timeline.
Running to Keep Her: A touching story about loss and what a man does to remember, and how that affects his life going forward.
Overall I enjoyed the volume. B. C. Young has a knack for storytelling and keeps the reader interested from start to finish. Even though each story was completely unrelated and stands on its own, they all have similarities and common threads that show Young can write. Looking forward to a few more short stories from him (never thought I'd say that...)