Today’s book review of a fantasy comedy short story is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
Hym and Hur by Phillip Frey
Synopsis: In this fantasy-comedy Hym and Hur are a young couple who never age and have been in love for more than a century. They also possess an array of magical abilities, two of which are either to play pranks on humankind or to perform good deeds. Enacting both at the same time is now what gets them into trouble, especially since it’s the character of Death they must deal with to bring their plans to fruition.
The prank Hym and Hur have come up with must first be agreed upon by Death, who happens to be an unruly, difficult character. Once agreed upon, the prank is set in motion. But then Hym and Hur discover Death had tricked them into a contract with dire consequences for all of us.
During their attempt to break the contract, Hym and Hur try to save the relationship of an earthbound couple, knowing they are truly meant for each other. A good deed that will bring Hym and Hur even more trouble.
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073IWJBU
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hym-and-hur-phillip-frey/1108486686?ean=2940032996293
- Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781452449258
- Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/lp7w73h
- Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/book/193731767/hym-and-hur
- Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/25453
- Author website: Phillip Frey at: http://www.phillipfrey.com/
Phillip Frey grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he performed as a child actor at The Cleveland Playhouse. The day after he graduated high school he moved to Los Angeles and performed in local theater. He then moved to New York where he performed with The New York Shakespeare Festival, followed by The Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center.
With a change of interest Phillip wrote, directed, and edited 3 short films, all of which had international showings, including The New York Film Festival.
With yet another change of interest he returned to Los Angeles to become a produced screenwriter. And now more recently, Phillip Frey has turned to narrative fiction with the books “Dangerous Times” and “Hym and Hur,” along with a collection of short stories. Phillip’s website is http://www.phillipfrey.com.
Review (of the eBook via Kindle’s text-to-speech facility)
From the beginning of the story, I enjoyed the rapport between the two eponymous characters where they decide to be mischievous but then kind. When they put the idea forward to Death (who’s having ‘one for the road’ in a bar), but he naturally isn’t keen so they agree a plan, and Hym and Hur go on their way.
Because Death is involved, things don’t go to plan, and we follow another couple and how the ‘plan’ affects their lives and relationship. As Hur points out, Death likes to collect, and we find out how, a brilliant example of good vs evil.
There are a few clichés but some are used intentionally as the two main characters wonder what they mean (including Hur pondering over ‘push the boat out’) which made them endearing, although when Hur says, “we’ve got him over a barrel” there was no query about it which felt out of keeping with the previous phrases (as did Dym’s “Dash it” later).
There are also adverbs that could be chopped including ‘smiled brightly’, ‘guessed doubtfully’, ‘said reluctantly’ and also ‘shivered with relief’, ‘dark eyes widening with surprise’, ‘smiled with delight’ because of the dialogue / description that leads up to them.
Some of the dialogue felt too fully formed, polite almost, but it fitted with the circumstances of the story and its characters.
The most important aspect of any story is having a character we like, or at least care about, and it’s not difficult to care about these.
There’s mischief and humour throughout the story, and I look forward to reviewing Phillip’s novel ‘Dangerous Times’
Rating: 4 out of 5
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition and creative writing tutor for her local county council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page). She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog.
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has six others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
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