Saturday, November 5, 2011

Short Story Review - Scream Angel by Douglas Smith (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Size: 122 KB
Publisher: Lucky Bat Books
Release Date: May 6th, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Free from
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the first short story by Douglas Smith. It was an interesting one; there are some cool concepts in here but the story gets a bit ambigous at points. Only half of the download is the story, the other half consists short excepts from a number Smith's other short story works.

Jason Trylayne has tried to escape his past. He was a Screamer, a soldier forced to take Scream. Scream makes all harsh emotions feel like estacy and allows the soldiers to committ terrible atrocities but not feel bad about it. Trylane has fled service after not being able to stand some of the atrocities he committed. He now runs a circus on an undesirable planet and harbors a number of orphans from the planets he had destroyed as a soldier. He is still addicted to Scream though and has an Angel who he is in love with to provide it for him. Now he has been found out and needs to decide what to do to protect his crazy little multi-species family.

This is a very creative book. The idea of a drug that allows humanity to committ horrible acts and feel good about doing is disturbing and interesting.

Trylane is a very interesting character. He is still addicted to Scream but is trying to atone for his past acts. In doing this he has amassed a number of strange entities from various planets and put them together in a circus. In a way he is both a hero for his work trying to save these few orphans and a villian for the previous acts he has committed on Scream.

Trylane's relationship with the female angel is also both interesting and disturbing all at once. He seems to love her but he is also addicted to what her body produces. This is complicated by the fact that the female angel is part of a brood pair and has an angel mate of sorts.

Parts of the story are a bit difficult to follow. There are a lot of characters introduced right off and I had some trouble keeping them straight. Parts of the story include flash backs that are a bit amibiguous making the story a bit hard to follow at points.

Overall I enjoyed this story. It was very creative and brings up some thoughtful (and disturbing) questions. Fans of science fiction or odd speculative fiction should give this a read for the novelty it presents.

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