Thread and Other Stories, by Eric Halpenny

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4 stars


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A series of short stories over different genres, with a running commentary between them. While reading the stories as individuals, they certainly felt disconnected—different eras, genres, and subject matters. However, the short story interspersed throughout felt like a narrator’s conversation with a reader, and for whatever reason, made the stories feel linked on some weird level. In fact, it separated them like chapters.


All of the stories were well-written. Since there were a few, it stands to reason that not all would be liked. Which is true. There were a few boring ones that took a lot of time to set up. By the time the reader got to the heart of story, quite a bit of interest was lost.


There were some excellent ones as well. Ones that didn’t take the beaten path in their execution. Deception was easily my favorite of them; the nasty bully getting outsmarted because he was overconfident, and it happens in a brutal way. Chance was my second favorite. I loved the supernatural elements to it, but also the family structure. I feel as though the broken family is a trope that everyone wants to use for a tragic backstory—which is fine—but this one utilizes a loving family. A family that really comes together to beat evil.


I felt as though there was a little bit for everyone in this novel. There are long-winded windups and lots of exposition or backstory with nothing else really going on. Then there are some that make that windup worth it and leave you wanting a full-blown story.


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