Author: Ian Rogers
Release date: January 27, 2021
Source: Amazon Canada Purchase
Before I start this review, I just want to post this link;
You can read this new release from Ian completely free on the Tor.com website and I highly, highly recommend you do that!
I’m self admittedly late to the Ian Rogers game. I had snagged his collection ‘Every House is Haunted’ some time back in a Story Bundle package, but didn’t get to it for a bit and then when his other Tor.com release ‘Go Fish’ came out recently, I snagged that and devoured it. It was amazing. Which pushed me into reading ‘Every House is Haunted’ which was also amazing.
So, when Ian announced ‘Shards’ I was excited… but also completely believed it wasn’t coming out until February. I was a bit surprised when he posted recently that it was available! I snagged a copy and read it last night.
What I liked: If you’ve not read Rogers work yet you’re in for a treat. One of the greatest short story writers out there ‘Shards’ is a fully formed and complete 300 page novel, told in approximately 35 pages. Much like why I love Calvin Demmer’s work so much, or Sonora Taylor’s short story talent (she’s also a stunning novelist too), Rogers delivers so much in such a short page count. It’s truly mind-boggling.
‘Shards’ follows a group of 5 friends to a cabin in the woods (yeah, I know but stay with me) where something bad happens. Taking a familiar narrative, Rogers does an amazing job of giving each character their own personality and traits while also showing how the events that occur that evening ripple and tangle into the survivors lives from that day forward.
The setting of the opening was simple but spot on. Rogers nails the banter between the college friends and once things take off, the reader has been pulled in so much that you’re left in shock and stunned silence over what causes it and what happens.
Rogers has a gift of giving dark corners darker shadows. I loved how this thing comes full circle and we see that the events that played out snared the survivors and how they are now connected and unable to escape.
What I didn’t like: As spoiler free as possible – I wanted to know more about what they find in the cabin and the place from where they find it. Maybe Ian will expand upon this in a follow up/prequel, maybe not, but it was so intriguing, I’d love to know more.
Why you should buy this: Well A) you technically don’t need to buy it. It is available for free on the Tor.com website and I’ll share that link again. B) if you do want to buy it, it is only 99 cents. For what you get, that’s an absolute steal. And C) Rogers is one of the best writers out there. He crafts stories that are a joy to read while crushing your soul and making you want to close the book and never enter that world again. But you must. And you will.
Loved this one.