A Review of Darkest Dean: Animal Short Stories

Book cover for Darkest Dean - Animal Short Stories by Dean Jarvis. Image on cover is a black and white sketch of a lion who is wearing an ornate crown that has a tiny cross at the top of it. The background of the cover is a very light yellow. Title: Darkest Dean – Animal Short Stories

Author: Dean Jarvis

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: October 16, 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Historical

Length: 96 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 3 Stars


A collection of beautiful handcrafted stories with animals set as their themes.

Contains a mixture of Fantasy, fable, and personal stories. Humor, twists, and strange storytelling within.


Content Warning: animal abuse.

Once Upon a Time is a lovely place to begin.

Some of my favorite stories were the ones that written as fables. I’m specifically thinking of red-breasted robins here and how Mr. Jarvis imagined they might have ended up with such bright chests. Other readers should have the opportunity to be delighted by that turn of events just like I was, so I won’t share any further details about how it might have worked. All I ask is that you keep an eye out for this reference and enjoy it as much as I did once you find it.

While I normally love seeing a wide variety of genres being mixed together, I found some of the combinations to be a little jarring in this particular case. The tone of one tale might be somber and realistic while the next one could be lighthearted and obviously set in a fantasy universe. It was hard for me as a reader to leap around like that so often, especially since certain portions were written from a first-person perspective about characters who had concerning personality flaws that neither they nor the people around them ever acknowledged. It would have been easier for me to adjust if the writing style had remained more consistent throughout this collection.

With that being said, it was interesting to see how the characters thought about the world. Most of the human ones lived in rural communities or in otherwise rather quiet and isolated circumstances. It takes a specific sort of personality to thrive in such places, and the author did a good job of exploring what sort of person is often drawn to either spending a lot of time on their own or only seeing the same small number of folks over and over again.

I’d recommend Darkest Dean – Animal Short Stories to anyone who wants a little of everything in their next read.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *