"The Stolen: Two Short Stories" by Michelle Browne is a pair of short stories that are just as compelling as Ray Bradbury (a personal favorite author) if not even more so. I met Michelle through the ASMSG group, which has introduced me to many excellent contemporary authors–many of whom are becoming friends. It is important for an author to have friends in their peer group, as other authors are able to share and commiserate about common problems. Reading them helps keep our minds open to the worlds that reading opens...exactly the sort of thing that draws us to writing in the first place. When peers get around to reading one's own books and giving feedback on them is also an excellent feeling.
I did not want to put this down, and was chafing so much when my son was using my Nook Color that I finally had to fix my Nook for PC just so I could finish this book. It took me a day to get the app to work again after it decided to throw errors at me in the 1000's range.
This book... It's right up there with Ray Bradbury and Orson Scott Card. I bought this over at B&N, but when I am moved enough by a book to write something on it, I put it at all the places I like to shop.
Both of these stories dealt with themes of maintaining one's independence at all costs. I really liked the first story, but my favorite between them was the second. I laughed audibly with glee when Sarah found the secret in the slightly thicker pages. I was wishing I could have seen this TorYoBiKo myself. When her cousin told her he was leaving Io after she tried to pass the message on to him, my stomach promptly knotted up.
Rape did get implied, but it was handled very tactfully, and it made me hate the guards even more. It was handled so well that I would not have any problems with my pre-teen reading this, and it will probably get read to the family when I reinstate family reading. The story ended at a good point too. Things were well wrapped up, but left with an implication that Sarah was going to work hard to spread the message of the original tome.
I was particularly gratified in the comparisons that can be made with how the spiritual movement's sacred book in this fiction can be compared with the sacred books of our own religious and spiritual movements. Things get edited out, and chunks are missing that never quite get smoothed over. I think this is a good reminder in how important it is to do as the Buddha advises...and inquire for yourself.
You can get this yourself and see what all the chair-hopping is about at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords