Saturday, October 12, 2013

Short Story Weekly #3: muted: a short story in verse by Jessica Bell

Create your own banner at!

Accepted Readers,

I'm back again on this glorious Saturday to post another Short Story Weekly. (SSW) I normally pick these stories at random and most of them are free to download on various e-readers. If you have any suggestions on a short story you would like to see me review (preferably 150 pages or under), please leave the title of the book and name of the author in the comment section below. 

Helena (Hele)
Title: muted: a short story in verse
Author: Jessica Bell
# of Pages: 30
My Rating: 4/5

It's illegal to wear clothes. In some streets, it's also illegal to sing. Concetta, a famous Italian a capella singer from before "the change," breaks these laws. As punishment, her vocal chords are brutally slashed, and her eardrums surgically perforated. Unable to cope living a life without song, she resolves to drown herself in the river, clothed in a dress stained with performance memories. But Concetta's suicide attempt is deterred, when she is distracted by a busking harpist with gold eyes and teeth. Will he show her how to sing again, or will the LEO on the prowl for another offender to detain, arrest her before she has the chance? 

Note: This cyberpunk/dystopian short story is an experimental work of fiction written in verse.
muted: a short story in verse is currently available to download for free via Amazon

The Review
First Impression: 
The idea of a short story being written in verse caught my attention right away. I also found the summary to be quite intriguing. I couldn't imagine living in a world where singing is illegal. The thought of that makes me utterly depressed because music has always been a huge part of my life since my school years. (I was in choir from elementary school up until the day I left high school.) The part about wearing clothes being illegal would be rather dreadful as well! I would HATE to live in a world like the one described!

Writing Style:
One word: BREATHTAKING. I'm a huge fan of poetry and enjoyed that this story incorporates verse. It makes for a quick read with a beautiful lyrical flow. The sentence break and pauses add great depth to the story. The emotion expressed in so few words is stunning. I was able to connect with Concetta on an entirely surreal level, like she was living deep inside me. 

My Review: 
An absolutely amazing piece of art filled with morbid sorrow and a taste of a bittersweet ending. I only wish that the story elaborated a bit more on why society has such bizarre laws and demented/cruel punishment. I also came across a few terms that I'm still not exactly sure what they are, I can only assume. I would like some clarification because I dislike not knowing for sure what something is. However, I have to admit that I still truly loved the story. I see myself reading more of Jessica Bell's writing in my near future!

*Note* A short sentence in a foreign language kept appearing; I looked it up because I was fairly certain that it was imperative to the plot.

 "si comincia oggi" is Italian for "it starts today"

1 comment: