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Friday Tuesday is a series where I talk about what I’ve been reading. Short Stories (and sometimes Novellas) are featured as in-between posts and the first Friday of the month will feature a new novel review. Today, we pick up where we left off in our serialized review of Presumed Dead by Rick Kennett.
Hello, survivors and patron of the Silver Claw Inn. Welcome to the penultimate episode of the episodic serial, Presumed Dead, by Rick Kennett and narrated by Marguerite Kenner, as featured in Cast of Wonders. We’re about to reach the climax, so let’s see what’s in store for our heroine.
At this point in the story, Cy is desperate to survive. She reminisces all of the past events and at one point finds a raft that takes her across the sea on the fungal planet. We also see numerous developments between her and Jos, her girlfriend, and she’s about had it with the guilt tripping.
I think Cy is a wonderful character that goes through some interesting character development. The back and forth between Cy and the current antagonist, Jos, is like battling yourself. All alone, guilty for what you’ve done, your literal ghosts of the past shame you for what you’ve done. It’s a cool idea that we don’t see in survival stories, because the villain there is the elements of nature. Weather, wildlife, maybe water or starvation. A ghost telling you off is fantastical in some ways.
Plus, her companion being a nuisance is always a joy to read. I do appreciate how dark and dreary this story is, yet adds this layer of silliness to it that really boosts the character development tenfold. I admire the author for putting it out there. It would have been a somber read otherwise. It makes the character likable in the face of disaster. I can’t say I’m well read in the survival genre, but those types of stories should give hope in the face of disaster. But that’s just my thoughts.
One thing before we move on, I should mention that the narration is a little odd at times. Specifically in regards to the text version on the website. Numerous times, I encounter narration that differs from the printed version. Dunno if that’s an accident (having to narrate an entire book is a hell of a task. I imagine these are done well in advance), but it always bugs me when things like this happen, reading something and then hearing something else.
I’m sure that’s not the narrator’s fault, but if we’re translating something, someone needs to make sure the exact words are used. It’s always a pet peeve of mine, especially when I’m following along through the text on the site.
Speaking of narration, I love the singing in this part, where Cy recites a modified version of Modern Major General. It reminds me of an episode of Freeman’s Mind (a Half-Life playthrough where the commentary is the inner thoughts of the normally silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman) where this happened as well. It’s a nice bit, and especially fun to hear narrated. I always try to sing how I imagine the song to be sung, but it always comes out fast and rushed. The one advantage of audiobooks, I guess.
All A Stimulation?
The one suggestion that’s been presented was that her memories, how she’s remembering them, might not be how they appear. For example, one imagination goes as normal, but one character changes to another. This suggests that Cy is truly going delusional, whether it be from the planet or what.
To begin, I hate all just a dream endings. They’re the worst endings imaginable. For standalone cartoons, it’s fine, but in an overarching story, it’s an aggravation. All of this worldbuilding and plotting, only to say, “haha, just kidding :)” Seriously.
I doubt we’re seeing that here, but the story is sending us on a different path that suggests that Cy truly is losing her mind. I’m sure everything prior was true, but it may have implied that some parts were made up because of the delirium our protagonist is facing.
We have one part left, but I hope it doesn’t get too out of control. I’m staying optimistic here. I’d rather not have several chapters of backstory be one big simulative lie.
We’ve got one more episode left. Instead of reviewing that, I’ll go through the entire story and review it as a whole, including part five. This will be in conjunction with a new novel review. It’s going to be a busy Friday, so I’ll be kind and space it out. The novel review will be around noon-ish, while the final part will be in the afternoon around 2-3 EST. Gonna be fun.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.