Saturday, November 2, 2013

Book Review: What Happened to Jory and Other Dark Departures

An anthology of short stories ranging in length from a few pages to novelette, What Happened to Jory and Other Dark Departures by Gary R. Henry is a fun and well-written read.

The titular story is jam-packed with backwoods creepiness and more than delivers on author Henry's promise of "dark departures." Roth's Machine is a dread-infused work of sci-fi that chronicles a rogue scientist's journey to "the other side" and is a true nail-biter.

All of the shorts are enjoyable but I have to say my favorite is A Barbarian in Rome, the novelette-length work of historical fiction at the end of the collection. Here, the author takes us back to Imperial Rome where Cugirtha, a captured barbarian warrior turned slave/gladiator, must use his wits and unmatched combat skills to survive in the brutal world of ancient Rome. The author promises Cugirtha's adventures will continue in a full-length novel and I'm going to hold him to that as the writing is superb.

My only complaint about the collection is the drab and uninteresting cover. I think a re-do is called for in this instance as the cover does not reflect the high quality of the stories contained within. Don't let this deter you from giving it a read, though, as What Happened to Jory and Other Dark Departures is highly recommended.


Gary R. Henry, "Grew up at the beach in Virginia. Discovered the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Rockies in college, where I studied journalism and theater. Honed my writing craft in the military as a "Navy Journalist." Taught journalism at the Defense Information School. Discovered spelunking while stationed in Nashville, Tenn. Love the AP Stylebook. Retired from the Navy, live in Lawrence, Kansas with spouse Karen Ann and dogs Sophie Jones and Lambchop. Write marketing copy and technical for a manufacturer of construction products. Enjoy running all day and night on trails in woods. Wrote my first novel a couple months after discovering Smashwords. Now living happily ever after."

You can find out more about Gary by visiting his Back of the Pack blog.

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