'To Be Known' by Justin Field
The very first sentence I thought it was an adult speaking to a child, then the author writes: 'The three-year-old had just...'.
As it continues, the three-year-old continues speaking as if they are much older. I take care of toddlers for a living, and can tell you for a fact, that three-year-old children do not speak that fluidly. They can construct full sentences, but often they confuse their words or construct sentences using what words they already have in their vocabulary. If you are going to write as a child that age, hang around one for a while and get a feel for how they really speak, because this was very strange to read.
Also, though well-written for the most part, there was the odd sentence structure that a writer should know isn't correct. For example:
"Edward back up and maneuvered out of the lot, eager to complete his journey to Upper Dyrnan, the little village that had raised him."
Really? You were reared by a village, not a parent or other relation? As with the discomfit felt by Edward when meeting Emily again since childhood, the dialogue was stilted and uncomfortable as a reader. It never really quite flowed in reality. In places it wasn't horrible, but mostly it was contrived.
The story itself was really good. Creepy in parts, but never really haunting. The ending fell flat for me, even though it was supposed to evoke...something.
Overall, it was a decent story with great potential, but these are the reasons why it got the three stars.
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