Moon and Other Novellas, by Windsor Harries

Windsor-Harries

Five novellas telling the stories of how average people cope when thrust into extraordinary circumstances. From the young boy trying to understand why all the adults in town are so worried about the rumble that suddenly began one morning, to the retiree trying to relive his glory days while preparing for the possibility of meeting aliens. After waking up in a coffin, an average working man possesses incredible mental powers, while a boy who has always been told he is his planet’s saviour tries to have a normal life while being constantly hunted by the enemy. The chance encounter with a passing alien ship transforms one woman’s life, and one man tries to keep the remains of the world together through the magic of radio.

I didn’t know what to expect when Windsor Harries contacted me to offer a copy of his novella collection in exchange for an honest review. I don’t favor traditional publishers over indies, or vice versa, so I’m game for whatever, and sci-fi is my preferred genre. The descriptions of each of the stories seemed to be right up my alley, and since they were novellas, if one didn’t strike my fancy, I needn’t spend a whole lot of time until I got to the next one. Each story is less than two hours at my reading speed, so I figured “what the heck.”

Let’s start with the one and only thing I didn’t care for in this collection: The chapter structure only encompassed the novellas, and not the individual chapters within each novella. I use the kindle’s estimated time left to let me know how to fit reading each chapter into my schedule. When I see a sixty-minute chapter, my heart hurts. I guess if the only complaint I have about the collection is some mundane technical aspect, then this must be a good read.

I read one novella each night last week. I found the first novella, Chosen, and the middle novella, Voltage, to be the best stories of the lot. The writing was polished through out. There was nothing that screamed out “indie published.” The collection is an easy four stars, and I look forward to reading more from the author.

On to my thoughts on the individual novellas:

Chosen is a great alien assimilation story, I felt the end of the story had something to say about human nature, and without spoiling anything, the ending is sad and uplifting at the same time. The story touched on sci-fi elements that I haven’t seen lately, and it was nice to see these tropes resurrected in a modern story.

I felt Rumble was the weakest out of the five novellas. I understood the structure, and appreciated the disparate viewpoints, but I felt the story left too much on the table. This seemed like a “slice of life” story, and fleshing out the story would have likely led to a rewarding full-length novel. I hope the author at least contemplates doing more work on this one – it has the potential to be an excellent novel.

Voltage is a great dystopian novella. While not as exciting as Chosen, or Moon, it was still a good read. I felt it had great insights into the wealth divide, and I suspect it could be a commentary on the difference between first world and third world countries. It definitely touched on the all-powerful and oppressive government that many dystopian stories do.

Prime had been previously published as a separate novella. The story contains themes of friendship, religion, and the reminder that not all endings are happy endings. There is a slight genetic-punk vibe to the story, but overall it’s an alien occupation story.

Moon is my favorite out of the stories. While sci-fi requires us to suspend our disbelief, I found Moon and its trick ending to have the most believable story. The ending allows the reader to consider their own ending, which is one of the best story-telling things I think any writer can do.

wh-photo

Windsor Harries was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, in the heady years between TV’s heyday and the Internet revolution. He has been writing ever since he can remember. His early influences include everything from Edgar Rice Burroughs to Doctor Who (Tom Baker, of course). In his mild-mannered secret identity, he works in marketing in the financial services industry.

Amazon
Goodreads
http://www.windsorharries.com/

Advertisements

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degree in Computer Systems and Applications and is currently attending Northern Arizona University. View all posts by Mark Gardner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: