Title: The First Kiss
Author: Greg Krojac
Publication Date: September 16, 2020
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
Length: 28 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
A night that begins with Daniel and Melody sharing a romantic meal at a swanky restaurant culminates in a disturbing discovery.
Content Warning: Grief and brief references to Covid-19, blood, and gore.
Rules are meant to be followed, right?
The character development was perfect for something of this length. Obviously, there’s not as much space to explore anyone’s personalities in twenty-eight pages as there would be in a full-length novel, but I thought the author did a good job of sharing enough about Daniel and Melody’s tragic pasts to explain why they would be willing to take such a big risk together. Grief can make someone do all sorts of things that they probably wouldn’t think to do otherwise.
As much as I wanted to give this story a higher rating, there were too many things about it that I found far-fetched even for the horror and science fiction genres. For example, the way people consumed food in this futuristic world was wildly different from how the vast majority of us do so right now. It was so out of the ordinary that it pulled me out of the storyline as I came up with several alternatives that would have been more rational for them. This pattern was repeated a few more times as more about the main characters’ lives was revealed. I know this is vague, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers while still sharing my reasons for choosing a three star rating. If only the plot holes had been given more time to resolve themselves.
With that being said, I was intrigued by the world building. Melody and Daniel live in a place and time that was heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though many years have since passed, their culture remembers those terrible days vividly and have not forgotten any of the horror of it. There were only brief mentions of Covid-19 in this tale which I thought was a good choice. Alluding to it was more than enough given the fact that it’s still such an intimate and terrible part of many people’s lives today.
The First Kiss was creative.