Recently I discovered something awesome on Goodreads that I’m sure many people already knew about, and that is the number of authors who offer free (and sometimes advanced) copies of their work to readers in exchange for an honest review. All you have to do is join one of the many groups that are on the website, take a peek at the discussions posted, and there they are. I thought this was a great idea, so I decided to see how it worked. (Note: Very Important! If you decide to try this out, make sure you read the rules and regulations for the group you’re in because they will ban people for not following them).
The first book I received was Michael Coorlim‘s Grief: 5 Stories of Apocalyptic Loss. In his five short stories based on the stages of grief, Coorlim depicts how five people cope with the loss of everything precious to them and the realities of a foreseeable end to Earth.
In Denial, a police officer on riot duty must decide whether to continue protecting her city or abandon all hope of keeping its citizens safe.
In Anger, two men have gotten swept up in the mob mentality of society that has erupted due to the widespread panic of Earth’s destruction. The two seek revenge on those they feel could’ve done more to help the planet prepare for the oncoming disaster, and one must decide if this is the way he truly wishes to spend his last weeks on Earth.
In Bargaining, a girl must decide between the lesser of two evils. She could fall victim to thieves and rapists, dying a violent death in the streets, or be “saved” by a doomsday cult leader who plans to travel to another planet and form a new Earth.
In Depression, a well-known and respected news anchor contemplates suicide as he lives out his last days reporting the news to an audience that is slowly dwindling.
In Acceptance, a young woman must come to grips with the realities of what’s happening in the world around her and decide if giving in to her baser instincts along with the rest of her friends is the way she wants to spend her last days.
I didn’t really find much negative about these stories. The compilation was a quick, easy, and entertaining read. The only problems I had were relatively minor. Lange’s emotional transformation in Grief was a little choppy and abrupt; I had to read it twice to realize what had happened. Also, my first thought after finishing Acceptance was, “well that escalated quickly.” But overall, it was still an entertaining piece of work. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking to kill an hour or two of time without having to deal with the annoyance of stopping in the middle of a great scene when the car is ready at the mechanic or your train ride is over.
I could see this book being the an excerpt from a larger novel/series. Coorlim gives just enough detail to tell a full story in a few short pages, but I think as a full novel it’d be even better. The amount of opportunities for more detail are abundant, so if Coorlim were to turn it into a larger work, I’d be right in line to read it.