Spiral Paths 1: Stone Dogs by Paul Jessup

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In this short story collection, Paul Jessup’s stories revolve around similar themes, including birds, monsters, and odd books, among others. What I liked the most about these stories was the way that the seemed to start off as if they were a normal story, but then turn into these weird, fantastical, dream-like tales that captivate the reader and make them think about what they’re reading. Readers should definitely share these stories with their friends so they can discuss what occurred and get an even better feel of what the overall story is saying.

As with Open Your Eyes, there were several typos throughout this collection, but not so bad that it really took me out of the story. Some of the stories also fell a little flat for me at the end. As if there should be a bit more to satisfy the reader. However, I can’t complain too much about that since I also enjoy leaving endings of short stories open ended so readers can make their own interpretation. I was still sucked into the story enough to want to know what happened next, which is always good (even if I’m left a bit unsatisfied at the end).

If you’re looking for some weird short stories to delve into, I highly recommended downloading a copy of Spiral Paths 1: Stone Dogs.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this story collection by participating in a Patreon run by Paul Jessup.

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Open Your Eyes by Paul Jessup

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5145tmqhtjl-_sy346_Abandoned in the middle of space after her lover—a supernova—dies, Ekhi is picked up by a small space craft with a sole, secretive mission. But as the mission comes to an end,  the crew begin to realize that they may not be as “in charge” of the mission as they believe to be. With a ship with an agenda of its own and an untrustworthy captain, will the crew finally make it home alive or succumb to a mysterious illness plaguing other space ports?

From the beginning, Open Your Eyes hits the ground running with a fast paced and exciting plot. We are dropped in the middle of space and watch as a sinister and surprising plot unfolds. Readers will enjoy a space world colorfully described without taking too much attention away from the main plot. Under 200 pages, Open Your Eyes is a fast read that captured my attention from beginning to end and was hard for me to put down.

While I enjoyed the story, there are two aspects that I felt, if resolved, would make the story just a little bit better. First, there were a lot of typos throughout that seemed to become more frequent as the book went on. It wasn’t something that personally took me out of the story, but it was noticeable. Secondly, I wish there was a little more to the story than was written, specifically when it came to the characters. While the reader is provided with an overview of the characters and their relationship to one another, I feel like the story would be more complete if there was a little more background provided to help the reader see why they acted the way that they did.

However, if you’re a lover of science fiction looking for a quick read with an enticing plot, I recommend downloading a copy of Open Your Eyes.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book by participating in a Patreon run by Paul Jessup.

Review of “Werewolves” by Paul Jessup, illustrated by Allyson Haller

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Now, I know I said the first post of the new year would be about my top albums of 2011. But, then I realized I listened to a lot of new music this year (at least 3 pages worth) and found it too hard to figure that out. Maybe one day I will do that, but I haven’t really had time. So instead, here is my review of Werewolves.

Written by Paul Jessup and illustrated by Allyson Haller, Werewolves is an illustrated diary of the transition of a girl, Alice, and her brother, Mark, from normal teenagers into, you guessed it, werewolves. Now, me being a huge werewolf fan saw this book at Tunes probably close to a year ago, but didn’t buy it until recently. After reading it I have no idea what took me so long.

The story throws you right into the middle, right after Alice and Mark were bit by what they think are just wolves. But as Alice, a vegetarian, begins to have late night snacks of meat and having strange, random urges to run, she knows something is up. Mark begins hanging out with a new crowd of “misfits”. One day they convince Alice to come with the camping, and that’s when she finds out the truth: they’re all werewolves. As she tries to decide whether to stick close by them or not, she begins to realize she’s being followed. Should she confront her follower or keep their wolfy secret forever?

The one aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was that it felt so realistic. Sometimes male writers who write in the female perspective don’t do such a good job, using a lot of stereo types and making the characters unbelievable. However, I think Paul Jessup did a great job with all the characters, bringing them to life, giving the reader the chance to understand what they’re going through. None of the characters were really alike, each of them having their own distinct personality, which is a big must have so the characters don’t get blurred together.

With short chunks of writing on almost every page, this book is a very quick read (I finished reading it within the span of an afternoon). But with the amazing illustrations showing the characters in human and wolf form and great story line, this is definitely a book that all werewolf fans must read.