Monday, September 12, 2011

Novel Spotlight: Aquasynthesis

Aquasynthesis is a collection of short stories from the authors at Splashdown Books. They range from a miracle-working ring, to learning sentient computers, to a Lucky Penny, to an obsession with ears, all tied together with short snippets from the viewpoint of a girl watching a pool of water freeze and melt.

If you think that sounds weird...well...it's speculative fiction.

Let me quickly review some of my favorite stories in the mix:

Dude by Kat Heckenbach: This story made me laugh so hard! It was a creative, non-traditional use of an elf and I loved it. This was easily my favorite story in the entire collection. Kat's two other stories, Between the Pages and The Artist, were also amazing. He book, Finding Angel, came out on September 1st. I have to get it!

When the Game Became Too Real by Ryan Grabow: I. Need. Air. Gulp. An adrenaline-laced story with the protagonist stuck in virtual reality, based on his forthcoming novel, Caffiene. Yeah. I'm gonna need this book too.

The Kissing Part by Fred Warren: A companion story to his novel The Muse, this is a cute story that reminds me of something my little sister did to one of my stories once.

Summer Snaps: a deleted scene from Keven Newsome's Winter, the book that launched Darkwater, the supernatural imprint of Splashdown. It's a supernatural thriller about a Christian Goth named Winter who receives visions from God. I wasn't too sure about the book--I mean, Christian Goths? Really?--but reading the story made me interested. Add Winter to my must-buy pile.

The Unjust Judge by Adam Graham: The story about a man who refuses to mete out justice and a widowed alien who refuses to give up...sounds just like something the author of Tales of the Dim Knight would write. Serious and funny all at once, and an excellent story.

The Field Trip by P. A. Baines: Hahaha! A story about two aliens learning about earth...and the difference a comma can make. Oosha. (Oops.) ;)

Overall thoughts: Some of the stories were better-written than others, but all made me curious to check out the authors I haven't read before. For people concerned about content, most of the book is clean. One story (Bob by P. A. Baines) contains a mild cuss-word, and Caprice Hokstad's story Fettered Soul contains a little sensuality (but nothing happens, not even a kiss. Oh yeah, and I really like this story too. Add two more books to my "must-buy" pile.). Aquasynthesis should be fine for those over 16.

If you like Christian speculative fiction and want a book you can read in short snippets, I'd definitely recommend Aquasynthesis. It wiln give you a good introduction to the fan-tabulous authors at Splashdown!

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

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