Title: The Gift
Author: Eleazar Guzman
Publication Date: September 15, 2022
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: 11 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 4 Stars
An unexpected gift changes the life of a hopeless woman.
Content Warning: Cancer, grief, death, and the termination of a life-threatening pregnancy. I will only discuss grief in my review.
If it’s meant to be, it will happen.
The opening scene provided such a detailed sketch of how grief can spill over into one’s ordinary routines at the most inopportune times. This wasn’t something I was expecting to find in this genre, and it piqued my curiosity about where Erica was going and what she hoped to find once she arrived there. I immediately had sympathy for her and hoped things would get better for her. She was such a sweet and gentle character even in the middle of her unfathomable pain.
I did find myself wondering why Erica wasn’t thinking critically about what was happening to her. She was offered something that sounded too good to be true and accepted it while barely asking any questions about it at all. That struck me as odd, and I would have gone for a full five-star rating if she’d dug deeper into how the mystical nature of it was supposed to work and what she should be doing to get the most use out of it. Even something as simple as the narrator explaining that Erica had never been into the speculative fiction genre and wasn’t aware of certain tropes from it would have been enough for me to nod along in understanding and keep reading.
With that being said, the ending was so fabulous I settled on a four star rating. Obviously, I can’t go into much detail about it without sharing spoilers, but it pushed everything that happened earlier to their logical conclusions in ways that don’t always happen in these sorts of tales. I appreciated how much effort the author put into this frightening final scene and will be keeping an eye out for what he comes up with next. He clearly has a vivid imagination and isn’t afraid to use it!
The Gift was beautiful.