Monday, 12 December 2016

The Last Star & Other Stories by D.L. Orton - Review

I've really been enjoying reading short story collections recently and I received a copy of The Last Star & Other Stories by D.L. Orton direct from the author in exchange for an honest review so I was really looking forward to picking this up. 

The Last Star & Other Stories

From Award-Winning Author D. L. Orton comes a funny, thought-provoking, and sensual collection of short stories. Laugh, cry, and linger over these brief but intense glimpses into the lives of a billion-year-old AI, two awkward young lovers, a captive dolphin, an ageing woman, and more. Share the wonder, experience the pain and pleasure, take the journey...

The Last Star
Two beings watch the last star in our universe wink out and discover the answer to how it all ends. And, perhaps, how it all begins.

Just Friends
Friends since they carried Scooby-Doo lunch boxes in second grade, two college students take the awkward, irreversible, and perilous step away from just friends. 

You think your roommate is bad, try living with a practical-joke-playing, drop-dead-gorgeous, celebrity femme fatale. No one is safe from her wiles, least of all you. 

My Kingdom for a Double Espresso
Is sex just a physical thing for guys? You know you're in trouble when your girlfriend tosses that out after you make the mistake of falling asleep on her...

Down in Flames
Personal tragedy played against a background of public disaster leaves one woman stuck in a very personal hell—and hoping for a second chance.

Right now, at this every instant, you are older than you have ever been—and younger than you will ever be again. There will never be a better time to find love.

The Idiot's Guide to Writing Workshops
(Or How to Review a Manuscript & Not Risk Getting Run Over in the Hotel Parking lot)

The Devil and a Hard Place
After all the time spent apart—all the doubts, all the denial, all the lonely nights—a love that refuses to die draws them back together like darkness and dawn.

My Review

I really enjoyed this collection and I liked that though there was a loose theme of different kinds of love, the stories were all vastly different.

The stories are all well written and though they are short, you don't feel like anything has been sacrificed to fit the short story format.

There were two absolute stand out stories for me for completely different reasons. The first of which is the title story, The Last Star, I found this story absolutely fascinating. It's about the two last sentient beings in the universe watching as the last star dies and they're thinking about their lives and how they spent them and wondering about what will happen next. The end was also extremely satisfying.

The second one that stood out was Down in Flames, this was so very, very difficult to read for two different reasons. The first being the memory of 9/11 and just how many lives were lost and how much it has changed and affected life. The other reason is the personal loss of the woman in the story, it's heartbreaking going through what she goes through as she does. What makes it more poignant is that from what I understand from the annotations is that this is a true story. I find reading anything of this kind very painful and very rarely make it through a story or article about this kind of thing, so the fact I made it the whole way through says a lot about the quality of the writing to keep me reading.

The only story I felt didn't fit was The Idiot's Guide To Writing Workshops, not because it was bad as it is incredibly insightful and amusing, but because I personally don't feel that it feels the theme or tone of the rest of the stories. I did enjoy this story but I would have preferred it in a different collection.

Overall a great collection and one that covers some important topics.

I gave this book 4 stars.

1 comment:

  1. It's always a fun surprise to learn which story is a reader's favorite!

    I almost left Down in Flames out of the collection because my editor thought it was too depressing (and I agree. It is pretty sad. 😟) Thanks for the vote of confidence. I think shared tragedy is what defines us as human, and I was hoping my story might give comfort to others who faced the same terrible night.

    And I agree with you on the Idiot's Guide. I think I'll replace that story with another in the next edition of the book, perhaps with another sci-fi story to go with The Last Star...

    Thank you for reading, reviewing, AND sharing. 🤗

    The journey is the reward. Thanks for joining me!