Friday, May 16, 2014

The Unfinished [Expanded 2014 Edition] by Patrice Williams Marks

Donny York has just been resurrected within a futuristic legal system that reanimates murder victims for 72 hours in order to identify and testify against their killer. He reminisces about the first trial that incorporated The Unfinished while preparing to face his own killer in court. The 2014 expanded edition also includes the first chapter from the forthcoming novel that expands upon the story.   

The Unfinished is a short story that is 21 pages long. The first-person narration illustrates great characterization through a strong voice with a conversational tone.  

Idioms and slang gave an interesting cadence and color to the narration but I also felt it disrupted the pacing. It was also a bit confusing when context clues weren’t readily available. I was pleased to note that the sample from the novel expansion has smoothed the narration while remaining true to the main character’s voice.

I liked how science fiction elements were interwoven within the story while still maintaining a sense of being from a modern bygone era. I liked that concise details were given but I would have also liked to have gotten a bit more description. I appreciated the attention given to world building and am curious to see how the novel will expand upon it.

The story was engaging and I enjoyed the concepts explored. The ending was surprising, impactful and abrupt. My exact response was me saying “What?!” aloud. I was thankful for the chapter sample of the novel that picks up immediately after the short story’s ending.    

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Unfinished. It’s an engaging short story about an intriguing legal system and a mystery that demands to be further explored.

[Disclaimer: I won a copy of this book through BookLikes]

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