Short Story Club: “Unrest”

Little beyond basic reactions for this week’s story; Rich Horton thought it “an excellent dark tale of the ravages of war, told effectively from sequential points of view of the participants/victims”; Lois Tilton says it is “An intriguing series of glimpses into a world we can not see quite clearly enough to fully understand”; James wasn’t convinced:

Each story is bleak and grim, and the overall tone is depressing. Presumably that’s intentional to show the horrors of war, but the result is a rather dark read which I didn’t really enjoy. The fragment of hope thrown out to the reader at the end of the story wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more hope; from somewhere.

And Paul Jenkins, reviewing the audio version for The Fix, said:

… a curious folk tale with serial narrators, each telling of the demise of the one before—or that’s how the plot seemed to progress. But with any fantasy setting the author needs to establish the world of the story in a transparent and subtle manner, to avoid resorting to the dreaded infodump. If in addition there are multiple characters who are dispatched in turn, the reader/listener is likely to have trouble identifying with them before they’re no longer around, while at the same time trying to make sense of the setting with its magic, trolls and spirits. For those familiar with the conventions of the genre, or better still with that particular world of this particular author, it isn’t likely to be a problem. For others, it can be a bit hard-going. Nevertheless the story is well-produced and would probably reward repeated listening.

Your thoughts?