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A chill in time

By apocalypsenovel, member

Nov 29, 2008: A difficult narrative is handled with surprising skill by the author of this story. A combination ghost story, mystery, and period piece, it also encompasses multiple timelines. The number of issues brought up by the different epochs, such as language differences, scene descriptions, and in this case legal issues, are more than enough to bring a lesser writer to his/her knees. This author, however, does her research and just gets to work on the story itself, handling all the named issues with ease and dexterity.

And it is the story itself that carries the day. From chapter one the author makes you care about the lead character, Elizabeth, and that caring grows into affection quickly. You share her sadness and her loneliness, her loves and her quiet successes. The story is littered with other characters, all of which the author finds a way to make different and interesting, even some that are gone within a chapter that you wish you could hear from again.

At its core, Refuge of Delayed Souls is a ghost story, and a chilling one at that. In the very first chapter the following line worked very well at sending a tingle down my spine: "Elizabeth patted the Springer Spaniel that had just run up and placed a ball at her feet. Henry watched on as his daughter patted thin air."

The overall writing, though by no means poor at the start, certainly improves as the author gains control of all the puzzle pieces. By the later chapters, she is able to place them down and fit them in any way she wants and make it work.

The website itself is neat and appealing. Some may have difficulty with the single color motif, but I believe the different hues and tones work well together. When you first arrive at the site you will have the option to start with the last post, but it is easy to reach earliest posts. I found the character and chapter links helpful and key words (Like Elizabeth or 1967) allow the reader to go back and reread specific chapters easily. Refuge of Delayed Souls has clearly visible RSS subscription and Feedburner links. A lot of work has gone into look of the site and it feels very professional. There are also links to the next and previous chapters at the bottom of each chapter.

Chapters, or “Parts” are very short, usually no more than 500 words, and are easy to read. As of the writing of this review 73 chapters have been posted.

Refuge of Delayed Souls is a good story, told well, written cleanly, researched impeccably and presented professionally. So why do I not grant it five stars? Because it is not finished . . . Strike that – because it is not completed. There is something the author is trying to tell us, something that has not yet become clear to the reader and perhaps the author, and until this something is put to paper, it seems to me, the why of the story remains as untethered as one of Elizabeth’s apparitions.

This reviewer believes the author will get there.

2 of 2 members found this review helpful.
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