My first novella, City of Kaiju, is finally out! Available through Amazon and Books2Read. You can see a preview of the very first chapter here. Help support a fresh new author with a fantastic read this winter season.
It’s rare to see a short story be so detailed and concise that it takes my breath away at how wonderful the plot was. This is one of those stories. Today, we review The Angel by Kate Cobey, Narrated by Julia Rios, as featured in Cast of Wonders’s Artemis Rising Special, which promotes women and those who identify as women. You can have a listen here. This is one hell of a heartwarming tale, so let’s check it out.
The Angel follows the tale of Gabriella Angelos and Hayley Dominguez who live in a futuristic world of advanced robots and fighting mechas. Hayley, however, is a cancer patient that’s growing worse by the day. The only thing she’d love is to use her sister’s mech, The Angel, in combat and win a local tournament. Assuming the two sisters can get along.
This is an amazing story, focusing on the sisters dealing with cancer, a sickening disease that is rarely seen as a plot device. I found it was executed brilliantly here and made me appreciate the characters, one a survivor, and the other seemingly getting worse as time goes on. Hayley comes across as a spunky tech whiz while her sister Gabrielle has to be the role model. They act as sisters should and it’s not overblown in any way. It feels realistic and produces memorable characters, which is rare to see in a short story.
It has a long enough plot to essentially feel like a movie. It has a straight beginning, middle, end structure and flows flawlessly. I had little in the ways of issues. It’s worth mentioning that the author is a high school student, and this is her first publication. A well-deserved victory, I say. Having a story like this flow smoothly and still be entertaining is no easy feat. Most are either too short to have a full story. This is what I mean when I’d love to see a full story being short and making it work. This is how it’s done.
The tech is advanced but reasonable. It has robot servants, giant mechs, a high school hacker who managed to guess her sister’s poorly protected bank account. And I love the nod that classic handhelds (think the Nintendo DS or Game Boy Advance) are making a comeback. A lot of old products have that nostalgia value and I could see something like this re-emerging in a few hundred years. We, of course, have the NES and SNES classic which are proving popular and numerous retro-style consoles that can play older games similar to the consoles of the 80s and 90s. So it’s really fun to think of such a possibility.
Back to the story, I found it very uplifting. Focusing on a cancer patient makes this story relatable and empowering. I always admire cancer survivors who defied the odds against this horrific disease. Combining it with something as awesome as giant robots is a neat touch and gives it a nice anime feel to it. The relationship between the two sisters was handled well. They loved each other, but they knew that one didn’t approve of the other’s antics.
Hayley is a fun character to read. Having such a smart aleck hacker as a sister and being numerous steps ahead of everyone else make for wonderful entertainment. I feel the inclusion of someone bordering on death seeking one last hurrah is played perfectly. It made me root for her and came across as sympathetic without being doom and gloom all the time. These characters knew the risks but went through it out of familial love. It’s inspiring and done really well.
The sci-fi theme is also executed well. This is the far future and it gives off that Real Steel type vibe (you know, that film with boxing robots? Underrated, but highly recommended.) and makes it feel nerdy, yet not too ridiculous in this day and age. Sure giant robots might not be a reality, but this person has done their homework and knows how far to push future technology before it becomes too unrealistic. A nice touch.
Overall, this was a fantastic story that really tugs at the heartstrings. It has the right amount of emotion and an appropriate level of sci-fi realism that doesn’t go too far out of the realm of fantasy. I’d strongly recommend checking this one out if you’re looking for an amazing story, especially in honor of International Women’s Day. You won’t find anything more entertaining than a cancer patient kicking ass in a giant robot.
+ A full, complete story in so few words.
+ Sisterly relationship that’s heartwarming.
+ Cancer patients kicking ass in a giant mech.
+ Fantastic writing.
+ Emotional and heartfelt. Will make you cheer for these two.
5/5 – Amazing story.
That’s all for today. If you liked this post and want to see more, I have a Ko-Fi page set up. Why spend three bucks on a Starbucks Coffee when you can help support hard-working authors like me? Every bit helps and keeps me going. So thank you, and remember, the inn is always open.