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descriptive, imaginative and surreal

By A. M. Harte, editor, author of Theatre of Horrors

Sep 10, 2009: Tales of Pneuma is off to a promising start.

The main character, Liam, wants to investigate the deaths of his parents. During his investigation, he ends up working at a rather bizarre chocolate shop. His employment will bring him to the very fringes of reality, to the smudged line between life, death, and alternate universes.

While it is an ongoing short story collection, with each story being self-contained, there is an overarching plot which ties everything neatly together. Thus Tales of Pneuma will appeal to both short story and serial lovers alike.

So far, there are only two stories posted, just enough to whet your appetite.

The writing style is quite literary—which is rather rare in online fiction—with highly descriptive prose, and unusually striking images. I often find literary fiction tedious to read, but in this case the author manages to tread the fine line and produce well-planned prose without neglecting the plot.

It is written in present tense, but oddly enough this choice of tense doesn’t give the narrative the expected sense of immediacy and involvement. If anything, the narrator sounds a little passive, which lends itself to the literary writing style, but does perhaps create distance between the reader and the story.

The setting is in modern times, with a hint of the surreal. The fantasy elements are unusual and imaginative (such as chocolates that contain human emotions), which is refreshing.

The website itself is easy to navigate, with a clear table of contents on the left-hand side, so no complaints there.

Overall, a very intriguing story. I look forward to future updates.

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