Apotheosis by R. Christophe Ryber

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Post July 12, 2011, 07:53:18 AM

Apotheosis by R. Christophe Ryber

This one was actually a pretty good horror story. The characters were all well developed, and more than a little ‘real’ to me. It’s the strongest aspect of this story.

The opening ‘hook’ was a little weak, for me. I didn’t really get a clear picture of what was going on, at first. I had to read the first two paragraphs twice before I realized that her car had been towed away. Most people have a bit of a reaction to such things. We hear about Heather, but don’t really have much information as to why her being in Shannon’s apartment uninvited, is important. We aren’t really even too clear that the apartment above the yoga shop is hers.

The story gets a lot better from here, it was just a little vague. Mr. Ryber’s descriptions are excellent, and we feel the disparity between the overheated yoga studio and the cold, damp snow outside. The scene setting is first-rate throughout this story. As a note to all writers out there, this is a story where ALL the senses get equal billing. The smells, the heat and cold, the sounds of beads clicking are all used. Too many of us forget to include these when setting the mood.

The pacing and set-up are very well maintained, and the backstory largely comes-out in the ‘show’ mode, as opposed to the ‘tell’ mode. We find-out what we need to know by dialogue and action, with no infodump that I could discern.

All of the characters seem to have a lot going on in their lives that don't necessarily impact the main plot. This is a device which always makes them seem much more real, to me.

Excellent story, with a hint of magic and a hint of Indiana Jones – type clockwork technology in place of the mysticism.

More than a little scary, too.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
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Post July 12, 2011, 07:12:43 PM

Re: Apotheosis by R. Christophe Ryber

In agreement with a lot of what Bill said, the details of who was who and where were fuzzy, and I felt a lot of confusion about that.

My favorite part of the whole story was:
As Shannon put more weight on Daniel's chest, the horrific scene on the woven mat caught her eye. She looked from the dancing, sword wielding goddess in the weaving to the machete she held in her hand, to Daniel's body writhing under her bare foot.

The part I had the most trouble with was the outcome. It completely falls apart as a huge hole opened in an otherwise delightful plot. Shannon shoots Daniel -- with what will certainly be found as a crime gun -- then beheads him -- an unnecessary move in light of his condition -- leaves her bloody fingerprints on the idol -- and gets away with its contents -- and walks free in spite of all these other details, any one of which could have her in courts or jails for a long time.

In spite of that, I did enjoy the story, but -- please, Mr. Ryber, watch out for plot-holes.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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