My first novel, City of Kaiju, is available for pre-order. Available through Amazon and Books2Read. You can see a preview of the very first chapter here. Releasing on February 12th, 2019.
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, I review Ghost Island by E. E. King.
Today’s short story is Ghost Island by E.E. King. You can find it here. This is a tale of mystery and apocalypse as our story takes us to an Island off the coast of Japan. I’m up for a Japanese story as much as anyone, so let’s get to it.
The Mysterious Island of Lost Memories
Our story follows the tale of Riku, a citizen of an apocalyptic Japan who embarks on a mission to a mysterious hub, Yuurei Island, in the middle of the ocean. Supposedly, anyone who goes inside loses their memories and find another set of memories in their place. They become different people and with no way to reverse it, Riku may very well be on his way to death.
A rather creepy tale filled with the type of story you’d probably see in a Japanese anime. It’s mysterious and intriguing, it’s got a dark undertone to it, and you’re not sure what’s going on at first. Riku’s relationship with Emi is key in the beginning because they come up again later. The story is set during some kind of apocalypse, and knowing Japan, they had their fair share of such situations, unfortunately.
Stories of such a nuclear-type apocalypse are common in Japan after the infamous bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Godzilla is one such example of how nuclear technology can go horribly wrong (or right, depending on your point of view), but since nuclear radiation doesn’t work like that, it’s more than likely going to kill you, and this world inevitably. Which is why nations seldom use their nukes.
In either case, the surrounding purpose of this island is a mystery, at least that’s what these soldiers are trying to solve. However, one by one, their memories fade. And those that do are replaced by another until their memories are wiped. It has that spooky feel that you’re not quite sure what’s happening or how people are losing their memories.
The story goes into detail about his relationship with Emi, which is important due to the idea that memories can come and go in an instant. The source of the mind-wipes, the base, and what happens after the fact, are sadly, never explained. It seems to end with a revelation that this place wasn’t what it appeared to be, and though it might be spoiler-ish, seems to err on the side of a Men In Black type erasure considering what happens.
As for Riku himself, the guy had a concerned, yet go with the flow mentality. He had a mission and intended to carry it out. Solving what happened after the apocalypse and the mysteriousness of this island gave him some character development. Even so, I felt like something was missing from this story. It’s only 3,000 words, but it could have been longer. Maybe give more intensity to Riku’s dilemma, and make subtle hints as to what this mysterious force is or what it’s trying to do. It’s too ambiguous overall.
I reviewed a story previously called Scavenge, Rustic Hounds! In that story, it was clear something was amiss, but it explained the result better than this did. You knew what the thing was, but not what it looked like. Too much mysteriousness can leave me feeling cheated when I never find out what happened and what caused this story. It seemed like it was going in that direction too.
The story was good, but it left me wanting more. I felt the situation had a nice blend of mysteriousness, yet with few things being explained, it came off as a tease. While I can’t spoil the ending, I felt it didn’t explain enough. If it would focus more on Riku and Emi’s relationship and focus on what this mysterious thing could possibly be, then it would be a fun story.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.