Holding Fire: Short Stories of Self-Destruction by Scott Hughes

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3/5 stars.
ebook, 288 pages.
Read from June 12 to 13, 2015.

Want to know a great way to support up and coming authors? Buy this book! This book was published by The Online Bookclub,  a website that I write book reviews for occasionally. The book is a collaboration of some independent authors who were all brought together by the webmaster, Scott Hughes, and contains 10 short stories all surrounding the theme of self-destructiveness of vengeance and hate. The story selections were all made by a team of judges and these stories were the final picks out a thousands of entries!

This anthology explores the repercussions of very raw human emotions and experiences, making the content easily accessible to almost every reader. While the book itself doesn’t contain any profanity or excessive sexuality, the mild violence and adult concepts may be a bit much for a younger reader. From grief, jealously, suicide, doubt and hatred this book depicts everyday people making rash decisions based on these emotions. In many of the stories, you feel for the protagonist and the choices that they make. This results in bringing up some interesting topics and questions about justifiable revenge, murder and the broader concepts of justice.  With that, not all of the protagonists make choices that evoke sympathy, making this book even more dynamic. The setting of the stories are also unique, from modern day to fantasy based. The age and gender of each of the characters in the stories also add for variety.

My favourite story would have to be My Name is Finn by Julieanne Swiatczak which is the tragic story of an abused teen named Finn. Finn’s revenge and hatred for his abusive father comes together in a tragic and undesirable ending. Just when Finn finds a breath of hope in his sad life, he is surrounded with more tragedy. He decides to take out his revenge in the only way he knows how. A close second favourite would have to be The Unsuspecting Nature of Grief by Jessica Phillips, in which a widow visits the murderer of her husband in jail and surprisingly takes him under her wing.

For an independent publication this book is pretty well edited as there are only a few minor errors. Many books that are independently or self published often times suffer for their lack of editing but I was impressed with how well this book came together. It’s very professional and is easy to read. Overall I’m really happy to support these talented authors and enjoyed reading their work.

Demiurge: Blood of the Innocent by Michael R. Hagan

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Thanks to the Online Bookclub for allowing me to read and review this novel. Please click the link below to read my review of this book on their site:

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Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig

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Thanks to the Online Bookclub for allowing me to read and review this novel. Please click the link below to read my review of this book on their site:

Click here!

Buy “Burning Secret” on Amazon