The Alchemy Of Reality
By Andy Echevarria
Taxi: A woman keeps encountering the same taxi driver day after day.
Crystal Ball: What happens to a boy who gazes into its depths?
The Magician: A prestidigitator get a chance to perform for an entirely new audience.
Dead Asleep: Be wary of your dreams.
Do Not Trespass: A man comes upon a strange auto accident after a funeral.
Black Eagle: What message does the bird bring?
Elevator: Who knows what will board along with you.
The Thirteenth Floor: A man remembers his horrible past.
The Bronx Is Burning: A man has an idea who a local arsonist might be.
Wunderkind: A boy enters a chess tournament and discovers more than he imagined.
Some similar themes in a couple of these stories. Most have some supernatural element. The last certainly doesn’t but that’s okay. These are pretty simple stories, fairly predictable. Low scare factor.
Michelle: secretary for an insurance company, owns a cat
Jack Weber: magician, has one arm
Dolan: drives a truck
Ryan Crest: lawyer, 32, smokes
Eugene Carr: 31, divorced w/children, former cab dispatcher, exercises
Pretty basic characters in the stories. Not a lot of physical descriptions. I did enjoy the cast in the final story. Eugene, unfortunately, sounded older. Maybe it was the name? I had a difficult time seeing him as 31.
Most of the dialogue is okay for the short stories.
Short stories are difficult to write. I’ve heard that in a short story, the author has to write about THE most important ‘moment’ in the main character’s life. Which means not a lot of wandering around in side plots or flashbacks, and the back story must be succinct.
I think the author could have expanded a bit on character description and personality.
Some basic writing. No profanity.
I was confused by the name changes in the first story. First it’s Michelle, then it’s another name. Maybe I missed something, but I couldn’t tell if two characters were being discussed. I didn’t understand this story because of the name change. (I later learned the error was caught and hopefully will have been changed by the time you read it.) As mentioned, there is a similar theme in a few stories, which for the first was okay. The second and the third instance (for a ten story anthology) was a bit much.
So, it was an okay book and a quick read.