Author Kaylyn Dunn
Thank you to author Kaylyn Dunn for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for this honest review.
A Series of Unrelated Events is a collection of short stories that aim to be disturbing, distressing, or otherwise unpleasant. Author Dunn does a good job of finding topics that perfectly fit this goal.
The book opens with a story about children. Since this book states on the back cover that it is not meant to be a happily ever after kind of book you can guess that it doesn’t end with the children maintaining long and successful lives. I have to give props to any book or movie that kills off kids. It’s a gutsy move that many are not willing to take, this book opens with it.
From there A Series of Unrelated Events proceeds as most short story collections do, with a bunch of tales uneven in quality. A couple of the stories are stand outs and many others are forgetable. The Heir and Whisper Pockets were the stand outs to me. Very original and creative stories. Whisper Pockets even taps into lore I was previously unfamiliar with.
Overall the stories read more as teasers than complete plots. They are very short, only a handful of pages each, none taking more than five minutes or so to read. The main problem with this is that they don’t feel like complete stories. Most of them feel like the beginning to a story or the summation of a story. A story that I’ll never get to finish.
A great short story is a full story that just happens to be shorter than a novella. It will have a beginning, middle, and end. As well as character development, conflict and resolution, and all of the other pieces of a great story. The stories in A Series of Unrelated Events felt more like workshopping outlines for larger ideas. Almost every single one of them needed fleshing out.
In addition to being underwritten the book as a whole needs editing. There are some fairly egregious typing errors on these pages. I usually give a pass to self-published books having an above average number of proofreading errors but I make exception when a typo changes the meaning of a sentence. That is always unacceptable.
The largest redeeming factor for this collection is its unbridled creativity. Dunn clearly has some great ideas for stories, she just needs to pick a few of these and focus on making them fuller. She’s created this book for quantity but if she picks her favorites and converts them to quality we’d have some real winners. The story The Heir would make a marvelous fantasy series and The Whisper Pockets has strong potential as a horror novel that I would definitely be interested in.
I hope to see more from Dunn as she grows as an author and I recommend this to anyone who would like to help her acheive that growth.
3/5 strong reactions 😱😱😱
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Buy it here: A Series of Unrelated Events (Just A Series Book 1)