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Fiction Friday 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 conclude our serialized review of Presumed Dead by Rick Kennett.
At last, we’ve reached the end of Cy’s tale. We’ve gone through a wild ride, but it has to end at some point. There’s still more, but I’m ending the story here. Maybe in the future, I’ll review the entire thing, but for now, let’s see how this plays out.
The story of Cy’s journey is one of survival and friendship. Crash-landing on an alien world, she’s forced to suffer the thoughts of the past, as the ghosts literally come back to haunt her. Trapped on a fungal planet, she must survive with the company of a spider/lobster hybrid, whom she named Lazarus. A tale of survival, reflection, and trust.
I’ve enjoyed this story and while I will be picking it up soon, this is a nice take on the survival genre. Being trapped on an alien world is reminiscent of The Martian, and I love the aesthetics of the world. Seeing Cy suffer through her past and having nightmares and visions gives a reflection into the past that meshes well with the story itself. It doesn’t get in the way too often and is a clever way of spinning both current and past together.
Cy’s also a likable character. She’s witty even in the face of danger and solace, she’s friendly to the creatures of this world, and she can fear like anyone else. I like her balance and would love to see more. Sure being stranded on an alien planet is a nightmare in itself, but with the company she has, she has a purpose.
I’ve seen survival stories with an animal companion before, and those are good reads as well, but something about Lazarus and Cy’s relationship makes me smile every time I read it.
I mean, he’s a complete goofball. He has no sense of awareness, no grasp on reality, probably can’t understand a single iota of human language, yet Cy converses with it as if this thing is not only capable of such feats, but also assumes it’s a spy for the Xenoids and just plays along for fun.
Speaking of, we don’t see anyone other than Cy, Lazarus, and the ghost of Jos, her former lover. Usually, survival stories tend to have so few characters anyway, but the mention of the Xenoid did make me curious. I hope the book has more, but I’m still wondering what these things look like. Are they human? Non-human? Animal? Some undiscovered species?
I would love to see these in person and know more about this planet. It has such huge potential that I’d hate to see it wasted in a short podcast.
As far as the story itself, I found it entertaining. Admittedly, I have some difficulties following along with voice (I’m more of a text-based reader and my mind tends to wander a lot. I’m lucky I even followed along at all). So reading it will give me a deeper look and I’ll find things I missed the first time around. Will all these same thoughts still hold up? Well, as long as Lazarus is still an adorable ball of bug, I’m cool with it.
Not much to complain about. As far as storytelling, this has a cool plot. Didn’t notice too many glaring mistakes most self-published books tend to have (not all of them, but I’ve seen my share). I applaud seeing such a polished work being self-published. I hope to give this a more in-depth look in the future.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed listening to this serial and hope to review the book in full in the coming months. Maybe not next month, but I hope to feature it soon. It’s only fair I make a final part and finish it all, but for now, this is it.
I hope you enjoyed this long run. Maybe once in a blue moon, I’ll review a serialized story, but I will have to improve on the pacing. I spent a lot of time on this and would love to move on. So what did you think? Would you like to see more of this? Anything else you want me to review? I’m always open to suggestions and feedback.
Thanks for putting up with me. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5