Tuesday, September 18, 2012

(Review) Sleeping Beauty Short Story By John Phythyon Jr

We all know the story, beautiful girl pricks her finger, falls asleep, true love's first kiss breaks the spell and all of those elements are here in this story, but the way they unfold here is different and pretty intriguing. This isn't simply a transplant of a fairy tale plot into a modern setting, this is a total reworking of the classic story that makes sense and works in our modern world.
Set in an upscale neighborhood the "Sleeping Beauty" in the story is groomed from an early age and forced into a life of pageantry by her mother, brought up to be a perfect little princess, which I thought worked really well for the story and gave it an ironic twist, drawing parallels to the whole "Toddlers and Tiaras" thing going on right now.

There is no fire breathing black dragon here, but instead a(n over)protective father who has his daughter put into a coma to "protect her purity" which, I think is just as scary. It's scary partly because it's not so farfetched. In some countries fathers have been known to mutilate their daughters' genitals to "preserve their honor." The even more frightening part is that the father doesn't feel his thinking is skewed, in his mind he's just being a good father and protecting his daughter. Despite that (or maybe because of that) the character is likeable and relatable on some level. *Cue spine shivers*
There's a little bit here for everyone, some YA elements, some supernatural/ fantasy, some romance (thankfully not the cheese flavored kind), but it's all thriller.

One thing Phythyon does really well is that he knows how to create tension by redirecting the reader's attention. It's a common technique with film and television to switch the scene just as something important is about to happen and Phythyon knows how to work it to his advantage. As a reader you find yourself becoming desperate to find out what happens next, you become invested in the story but you can't simply skip the scene change because what's happening there is important too. There is no filler in this story.

This is the first work I've read from John R Phythyon Jr but it probably won't be the last :)

*The story is available today and tomorrow (9/19) for free on Amazon 
$0.99 otherwise, well worth the price in my opinion.

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