Greek Fire and Other Burning Tales

greek fire

Greek Fire and Other Burning Tales By: Dennis B. Boyer

Plot:

As each one is struck, a new, burning tale is ignited.

Although these seven very-short stories, or works of “flash fiction”, are quick to extinguish, they are still highly incendiary— and quite capable of scorching.

A military commander considers the incredible claims of his enemy. Today is the day they’ve promised to unleash their doomsday weapon and rain fire from the sky.

A firefighter pulls an orphan out of a building consumed by flames. She alone has been spared among the tragic loss of young life. But there is something strange about this emotionally distant girl who refuses to speak…

When his two adult sons find nothing but a pile of ashes upon their elderly father’s favorite recliner, they are forced to consider the strange events of Christmas Eve. One is convinced that this is a rare case of spontaneous human combustion.

Niccolo is an accomplished violinist, but he’ll never attain the fame and glory he seeks until he composes a masterpiece. When he summons a demon to assist him with this endeavor, an agreement is quickly reached. And all Niccolo must do is perform one diabolical task…

These and the other combustible short tales of this collection are as potent as the white-hot flames of the Greek Fire. Scalding stories which will burn themselves into the mind.

Dare for a moment to hold your hand above the flames.

Review:

This is a collection of flash fiction, something I’m aware of but I’ve never actually read any. I normally see it on a blog start one and then think this is too long to read on the computer and stop. I found this for free (it is currently $0.99) on kindle so it was a perfect way to try out flash fiction.

Greek Fire- A bit too much buildup, I think, but still a good story from a different point of view. I figured out what he was doing before the end so it wasn’t as big a surprise as it could have been. If he’d cut down the buildup it probably would have had a bigger impact. 3/5

Here There Be Dragons- I thought this one was too similar to the first one and they probably shouldn’t have been back to back. It was interesting and I didn’t see the twist at the end but again it was too similar to the first one. 2/5

Where There’s Smoke- This one freaked me out and instead of stopping here and going to bed like I planned, I ended up having to read the rest, just to try and get this one out of my mind. I didn’t want nightmares. 4/5

Beholding the Brazen Bull- This one was short but to the point and also a bit creepy. 3/5

The Strange Death of Mr. Ernest Hughes- This one was kind of sad but there was a moral to the story. Very descriptive. 3/5

Upon the Stake- This was another twist ending, didn’t see it coming though. 3/5

An Agreement With Dantalion- Good premise and gave you what you were expecting. 3/5

Most of these had twist endings, where the entire story is build up, getting you to think something else is going on, only to have a surprise at the end. I’m not sure if that’s how all flash fiction is, since I haven’t read much, but it seems like a way to pull someone in for a quick surprise. A couple stories didn’t really follow that set up (Where There’s Smoke and The Strange Death of Mr. Ernest Hughes and to a lesser extent An Agreement With Dantalion) and I think that if they were laid out a bit different the book would have flowed better. Once you read two twist endings in a row you began to see them coming. Overall I thought they were good and I wouldn’t have a problem paying as much as $1.99 for this book. (I’m cheap)

3/5

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One comment

  1. Reblogged this on John L. Monk and commented:
    I thought this was an interesting way to review an anthology, though it probably isn’t “unusual.”
    Disclaimer: I’m neither endorsing nor outdorsing this 35 page collection of flash fiction, simply highlighting an interesting review 🙂

    Like

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