Michael Joseph | 29 September 2022 | 352 pgs
Source: Library 

This is a compilation of a passion project (and not to mention her debut short story collection) C. J. Tudor had put on the back burner, but decided that instead of scrapping a book which she didn't feel good enough due to the difficult times she'd been through (the pandemic and her father's passing), she thought that this shorts collection seemed like the perfect opportunity instead of skipping a publication year (in 2022) and letting her readers and her publishers down. 

I rarely read short stories, but I couldn't turn this book down because it's Tudor's and this is one of my favourite genres. Without further ado, here's my brief write-up of the eleven tales and my favourites highlighted in red. 

End of the Liner - A scary story about a virus obliterated the world and for decades people are living their life on giant cruise ships in the middle of the ocean. There're rules within the cruise and while the passengers are more or less satisfied with their confined life, something seems to be off. 

The Block - A group of friends decided to explore an abandoned building and stumbled upon some scary creatures. 

Runaway Blues - This is a story about twisted love and revenge. The ending is not what you'll think and expect. 

The Completion - A ruthless property agent who'd do anything to get the deals sealed, until he meets his next client - a strange old man living in Bragshaw Manor. 

The Lion at the Gate - A graffiti that comes alive? Perhaps you'll have to think twice before touching that paintings in this short. 

Gloria - Gloria first appeared in Tudor's second novel, The Taking of Annie Thorne. The author had a huge soft spot for this character and always felt that there was a possibility that she might one day return. So here it is - a chanced encounter between a hardened mercenary and a girl with a strange gift (you wouldn't guess this one.)

I'm Not Ted - This story was super short, and a bit strange. A person who claimed he wasn't Ted found himself in a luxurious building with everything nice equipped. A mistaken identity? Probably not. Just a test of your temptations resistance. 

Final Course - In an apocalypse world of darkness, a father and daughter travel along eerie country lanes after an invitation for a reunion gathering at an isolated manor. The manor is exceptional, except that the good old schoolmates have somewhat changed. And the host has a motive - a plan to engage his invitees to commercialize the apocalypse, but it comes with a price. 

The Copy Shop - What if you could replace anything old or broken with a copy better than the original? An original tale about reproductions with a bit of Stephen King vibes. 

Dust - A woman went to Gran Canaria to escape from her past. The stay at Villa de las Almas Perdidas was supposed to be a great escapism, but then there's Calima wind and the place was often coated with layers of fine sand. But this wasn't the worst, she'd have to remember what she'd done in the past or she'd never leave. 

Butterfly Island - A frightening story about killer butterflies and a murderous psychopath roaming the island. There's no closure to the ending, and the author stated that this is one of her favourite short stories that she might expand it into a novella one day (Please do! I want to know what happened in the end!)

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10 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I don't read a lot of short stories, either, but I do love C.J. Tudor's writing. Have you read her newest book The Drift yet?

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - I haven't read The Drift yet, but it's definitely on the top of my reading list this year. ;)

  3. Harvee Says:

    I have several books of short stories that I hope to read soon. These sound very interesting.

  4. Melody Says:

    Harvee - It was an intriguing read given a bit of the apocalyptic theme.

  5. Kay Says:

    Melody, I'm glad you shared your thoughts on this short story collection. Since I recently read a Tudor book, I'm putting it on my list to try. And, no, I'm not much of a short story person either, but you never know. LOL

  6. I do not read a lot of short stories either, but I always tell myself I will. This sounds like a good collection. I will add it to my wish list!

  7. Melody Says:

    Kay - I'm definitely looking forward to read Tudor's The Shift. And I hope you'll enjoy this book if you get to it, Kay.

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - It was a good read and I enjoyed reading it. And I'm glad to hear you're adding this to your wishlist, Wendy. :)

  9. Iliana Says:

    I don't read a lot of short stories either but I think I'm starting to get into them more. I'm currently reading a compilation of ghost stories and it's really good. I enjoy this author so will have to check this one out! Great review Melody. Love that you gave us a glimpse at all of the stories in this collection!

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I think I'm choosy when it comes to short stories. I find that ghost stories are what most attracted to me if I want to read a short stories collection. ;p

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