Back on Friday, I finished The Empty Sky by KB Elijah! (Check it out on Goodreads or Pegasus Publishers). The Empty Sky is a wonderful collection of eight fantasy and sci-fi short stories (the author describes them as ‘shedium”- they are about 60 pages each). I really liked this book, so here is my review!
“Well,” I said carefully, “I may not believe in magic, but a trick like that is certainly impressive.”“If you don’t believe in magic, then this conversation is going to get extremely tiresome,” Genie said. “Learn to do so, and quickly.”-Melina’s Mistake, The Empty Sky
Going into this book, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a marvellous collection of fantasy and sci-fi stories about all kinds of adventures, featuring headstrong and relatable characters.
Full of time-travel, conspiracy theories, hidden magic, diverse representation and twists of fate, K. B. Elijah’s debut anthology took my breath away!
KB’s writing style is stunning- the dialogue is casual and easy, seeming very realistic and there is a good balance between the dialogue and description. However, I found there was not enough description of the character’s features.
I found that all her stories well written and easy to follow, with captivating plots and interesting, unique characters. A mix of first and third person viewpoint was used in different stories but we were always granted access to the characters feelings.
The characters were quickly relatable and seemed very human. They had flaws, which helped me to emphasise with them. They weren’t perfect, and that made me like them all the more! They sometimes regretted their decisions and seemed to me like actual, real people. KB created characters who stood up for themselves and she somehow created wonderful character arcs in less than 60 pages!
The plot always left you questioning, asking why! All the stories were full of plot twists despite their short length, and they always surprised me!
These unexpected twists were one of the best things about the stories, somehow there was something awesome or strange (or often both) to discover in each of the stories! Though the story was a little rushed in some places, I think KB perfectly balanced plot twists and character arcs to create a wonderful collection of stories!
Most of the time I had no idea what was going to happen, though there were one or two predictable moments.
The beginnings of these stories drew you in and the ends left you almost satisfied but also ready for Part Two!
My favourite story had to be The Girl and the Monster, but all of KB’s stories were ingenious pieces of fiction! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read this.
Guys, KB was awesome enough to tell me a bit about Moments In Time anthology #2 and I’m allowed to share a little something with you;
Volume 2 is written in much the same way: seven new short stories full of adventure, twists and down-to-earth characters. From cursed pirate captains to sentient book characters, magic ovens to human sacrifices, Volume 2 of the Moments in Time Anthology contains more of the unexpected fun that has been received so well by readers of the first instalment.Here’s an extract;
“Sir? What’s your name?” the cashier asked, the fake grin plastered on her face starting to crack around the edges from one too many early morning shifts. She held up a paper cup and marker pen expectantly.
“Death,” her customer offered automatically, instantly cursing his carelessness. He shook himself out of the caffeine deprived coma he regularly found himself in most mornings. “I mean-”
The girl was already scribbling ink across the cup.
Death winced, waiting for the repeated question, the sarcastic acknowledgement or the incredulous stare.
But the girl only sighed wearily. “That’s $4.95 please.”
Death handed over five dollars, waving away the change and hurriedly shuffling down the counter to do the unthinkable: hovering directly in the pickup area. He heard disgruntled murmuring and the shuffling of feet behind him as other customers tried to alert him to his breach of social convention. Well politeness be damned. He was Death after all: Destroyer of Worlds, Santa La Muerte, the Grim Reaper, Yama, and He-Who-Rides-The-Pale-Horse.
But today, after scooping his coffee from the barista’s hands the moment that macchiato with the shot of caramel, extra froth and sprinkling of chocolate powder hit the counter, he was Dave.
Death stared at the scrawl on his cup. Dave? That’s what the cashier had written? Dave? Did Death frigging look like a Dave?
He forced himself to take a deep breath and a long swig of that heavenly macchiato bliss.
He should be relieved not annoyed, he reasoned, that his true name had not been called out in the middle of a crowded Miami Starbucks. His anger was unnecessary.
His breathing finally under control, Death swiped a handful of extra sugar from the basket on the counter, and headed to the door. As it smoothly slid open for him, Death distantly heard a customer at the cash register say “my name? Beyoncé. No wait. Let’s go with Voldemort today.”
Thanks so much to KB and Pegasus Publishers for sending me a copy of this book! It was a great experience and I really hope others will pick up this book!
And thank you so much to all my Instagram followers, supporters and friends, who made my dream of receiving physical books to review come true. Y’all are the best family I could ever hope for! (sorry mum, dad, mels)