Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

The Sea Was a Fair Master
The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer
Self-published, 2018
Ebook. 83 pages.

About The Sea Was a Fair Master:

"'The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him. 

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love. 

For the sea was a fair master."

I've only recently started reading more flash fiction, and with each collection of stories I read, the more I seem to enjoy it! The Sea Was a Fair Master is an exceptionally dark collection of flash fiction, which, as you might expect, I was immediately drawn to and loved. 

Each story is, of course, very short, but that doesn't take anything away from the intensity, the setup, or the twists in each one. A few twists here and there were somewhat predictable, but I didn't really mind at all because I still enjoyed reading the build-up that Demmer created. I'm also incredibly impressed by how much style and distinct voice Demmer was able to fill into such short bursts of fiction, and it really leaves me wanting to read more and see what else he has up his sleeve.

There's  a little bit of everything in this book, from crime, horror, science fiction, some fantasy--if you like variety, you'll love it. Some stories start off seemingly innocent, some throw you right into knowing that something is wrong, and that versatility is something that I really liked about Demmer's style. I can't go into too much depth about the individual stories, but a few standouts for me were:

"On the Seventh Day": This is the first story and it set the tone for the rest of the collection perfectly.

"The Sea Was a Fair Master": Being stationed in the middle of the ocean can get boring, so some men partake in an...unusual... hobby to pass the time.

"Sea Ate Nine": A story with unexpected twists the entire way through-- I was surprised by the ending, but I also loved it.

"Trashcan Sam": A dark take on the hobbies of garbage collectors... This one was a delight.

"Like a Spanish Guitar": A couple decides to take a nice picnic near a lake... and it becomes completely unexpected, yet brilliantly executed.

Overall, I've given The Sea Was a Fair Master 4.25 stars. If the idea of some short, twisty, and dark flash fiction appeals to you or intrigues, then pick this one up! I believe it's only $2.99 for the ebook right now, so you can't go wrong there.

*I received a copy of The Sea Was a Fair Master courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*

Buy the book: Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Every review I've read of this book has been positive, glad you enjoyed it! Flash fiction is hard to do, but it sounds like he's very talented.