Title: Foreign Objects
Author: Joshua Scribner
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: 7 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
A young outcast, his struggles to survive, and the crucial objects that come into his life.
Content Warning: Bullying, physical abuse of a child by another child, violence, attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, murder. I will make allusions to them in my review.
Paying attention can be the difference between life and death.
Joel, the main character, had a difficult childhood to say the least. When I first met him, I was a little concerned by how negatively he spun everything, but I soon learned he had a good reason for reacting the world that way. Terrible things kept happening to him for reasons that neither he nor the audience understood. Of course anyone would learn to become suspicious under those circumstances! Given these facts, it made sense for him to behave the way he did, although I never gave up hope that he’d have easier days to come.
The fantasy elements of the plot were subtle and were not revealed until very late in the game. I found myself wishing that the author had been a little more straightforward about where he was going with this portion of Joel’s life. It played such an important role in his development that I would have loved to see it explained better even though I understood why certain details really did need to be saved for the end. From the perspective of a reader who wasn’t entirely sure what I’d gotten myself into, though, I would have given this a much higher rating if a clue or two about the ending had been dropped in one of the first few scenes. Obviously, I don’t expect the same amount of world building in seven pages of fantasy as one would find in seventy or seven hundred, but a little more would have gone a long way.
I must admit to having mixed feelings about the beginning and middle of this story because of how violent it was. It took a little bit for the narrator to explain why he was sharing so many traumatic events from his life, but once he did everything clicked into place for me. I appreciated the way he reframed his memories after the revelation at the end, and I’d be quite curious to read a sequel if one is ever written.
Foreign Objects was a wild ride.