Reviewed by David Brzeski
The self-published kindle author is a contentious area at best. It’s true that the boom in self-publishing on Amazon has led to an awful lot of unedited, badly proofed and just plain badly written rubbish flooding the market. There are exceptions though.
In these three short stories, Christine Sutton has attempted to bring some classic fables and fairy tales bang up to date for a modern horror audience.
Unusually, the author chooses to have the core events of several well known fairy tales happen to one character- Kayla Burkheart. Kayla has had a difficult life. Her father abandoned her, her mother blames her and treats her like dirt. Her life spiralled into a nightmare of drugs and booze. It was while in rehab that she met her fiancÃ©, David and their mutual love had saved them both.
In ‘Red’, Kayla now has a job at a car dealership and all she had to do was deliver a classic car across five States undamaged. If she managed this, she’d collect almost $10,000 to go towards her wedding and new life. The only trouble was, she was being pursued!
In ‘Snow’, Kayla finds out that her mother is hiding a dark secret and it doesn’t bode well for Kayla’s future. Luckily for Kayla, she befriends a family of seven little people, who want to help.
In ‘Let Me Come In’, Kayla and David are married and Kayla is eight months pregnant, but her evil mother is still bent on her death. How can they protect their house when the wolves are bent on getting in?
Christine Sutton even manages to squeeze in a few extra fairy tale references along the way, beyond those made obvious by the titles. Don’t be fooled though, these stories are no happy romps for pre-schoolers. The claws rip, the fangs bite, the blood flows and not everyone lives happily ever after.
In truth, there are few surprises in these stories, for the same reason that the audiences of the movie blockbuster, ‘Titanic’, knew the ship was going to sink at the end. Despite this, they are very entertaining, well-written and left me wishing there were more tales of Kayla and David to come.
The problem would be that, to do much more with these characters, the author would probably have to drop the direct fairy tale adaptations concept, as it might be too limiting. This is likely the reason why no more Kayla stories are currently planned.
If I’m honest, I’m not generally that keen on buying individual short stories and would have preferred a collection. Hopefully, sometime in the future, we’ll see such a collection and maybe some longer works by this talented writer.