The Literature Hub
Reviewed by Ivy
Author: Lee S. Hawke
Publisher & Pages: Blind Mirror Publishing, 125 pages.
“Featuring 7 original, fairytale-inspired science fiction short stories, this collection explores the division between mind, body, technology, and humanity in Hawke’s trademark haunting style.
1. A chronically ill civilian discovers that his immune system may be the key to human survival
2. A schoolgirl tries to escape her demons through levels of virtual reality
3. A data analyst falls in love with a software coder during a forced government assignment
4. A young boy is confronted with a horrifying truth about his constructed world
5. A jaded medical technician rediscovers the meaning of beauty
6. A girl scrambles to escape a horrifying alien invasion in a futuristic dystopia, and
7. A spaceship engineer struggles with the death of her only daughter.
Metaphysical and visionary, this collection of fantastic fiction combines humor, wonder, horror and humanity to create an enduring anthology of fairy tales for adults.” ~Amazon description.
Highlight: Excellent portrayal of the characters emotions.
Caution: Have a tissue box on hand.
Highlight: The themes are relatable and provides powerful statements.
Caution: You are bound to get confused by the complexity.
Review: Division is a complex collection of short stories with spikes of darkness. This compact work of art was more than I had expected, as its gloomy take on grief stretched far.
Seven short stories delivered a great emotion impact, some better than others. Each short story had a powerful statement and all stories are connected together by a dystopian world. Grief was a prominent theme although a slither of hope helped balance the intense emotions displayed. This anthology shows characters in simple situations but dealing with waves of internal battles. A collection of bitter sweet stories.
At times the paragraphs are overloaded with metaphors which give the sense of unreality. This helps put you in the character’s shoes as they are disorientated. The mass of metaphors may get frustrating but it serves its purpose well. Even the transitions from one scene to another makes the reading experience confusing, although the jumping transitions seem deliberate especially in The Soldier. By skipping in time you are given the feeling of time passing with very little action. It reinforces the theme and the routines of life.
I had initially thought it would be difficult to understand and appreciate the world each story portrayed, but I thoroughly enjoyed every one. The author has captured daily problems everyone is bound to face and split them into short stories. They do not have happy endings like you would want to happen, instead they present realism. They represent the true stories of life and the difficulties we face.
Out of the seven, The Soldier, Please Connect, and Division are my favourite. I found these to be the most interesting and relatable. The idea of being disconnected from others rings through the stories as it does me. Overall I found the anthology to be a bitter sweet lolly that makes you crave for more.
Star Rating: 5 stars
Available in: Paperback and e-book.