FaustReviewer: Renee Stevens
Word Count: 2,688
One thing I have absolutely loved about being a part of the blog team is that I have read so many new authors. The most recent one was Promising Author: Faust. Faust has been a member for quite a long time, having joined the site August 06, 2006.
When I first opened his story “Almost” I immediately noticed that it is not written in a typical story format. Instead, I found myself reading the story through a series of journal entries and newspaper articles. While at first I found the format a little jarring, I quickly became engrossed in this short story.
“Almost” lets us into the inner most thoughts of the main characters. Through his journal we are able experience what he is feeling and it isn’t just one emotion. We are with him as he spills out what his fears are. We are by his side as he lets us into his innermost thoughts. We can hope with him as he tells about what he wishes could happen.
There is a lot of angst in this story and at times I did find myself uncertain and a bit confused about what I was reading, but by the end, it all made sense. I will say that in my opinion, there is a bit of a twist, but you will just have to read the story to find out what it is.
For those who are looking for something a bit different from the traditional story, this story might very well be what you are looking for. Hope you find it as interesting as I did!
Word Count: 7,712
I’ve only recently started reading more here on GA now that I have a bit more free time, and have decided to read more stories written by our regular authors; I have come across some real gems and Ieshwar is definitely one of them. I’d read a couple of his anthology stories and was really impressed with the emotion that pours off the page and in the quality of his writing, so I was really looking forward to reading Mind Games.
The story focuses on the Telepathic Police Force (TPF), which as the name implies, is a group of psychic police officers. Since they entered the police force, solving crime has become child’s play; they simply read people’s minds and discern the guilty from the innocent.
Naturally, not everyone is happy with these psychic police officers; least happy of all was a group called Nova Roma. The psychic police officers have been hailed as heroes by some and condemned as mind rapists by others; they have been called everything from psyonic knights to voyeurs.
Away from work, TPF officer Brandon Ullman is fed up with going on dates with guys whose minds he can read like an open book, that is until one day he meets Seiran; a guy whose mind he can’t read, and Brandon quickly falls in love with him.
Shortly after meeting Seiran, the top secret training academy of the TPF is attacked by person or persons unknown and very few psychics survive the attack. Suddenly everyone who anyone in the TPF knows becomes a suspect; someone with intimate knowledge of the workings of the TPF has access to knowledge that nobody has.
Seiran immediately becomes a suspect given the short space of time between meeting Brandon and the attack. Another TPF officer, Sharon, convinces Brandon he needs to violate their golden rule, and force entry into Seiran’s mind; she agrees to do the same thing in an attempt to clear or condemn her husband.
The outcomes are unexpected for the both of them, but they are left with no time to dwell on the consequences of their actions, as the Parliament building is attacked and the TPF is placed on high alert. Events unfold, which mean that eventually, nobody is above suspicion; not even the sector commander of the TPF.
As the story reaches its climax, not only is the source of the attacks a surprise, but the identity of the betrayer is the biggest surprise in the story; the identity of the betrayer even shocks Brandon Ullman to the core.
Ieshwar weaves an incredible tapestry for such a short story; made even more impressive by the absence of a beta reader or an editor. The quality of the story is on par with his anthology entries I have read which in itself is no mean feat, and I was hooked from the first word to the last.