Book Review: Tethered: A novella-in-flash by Ross Jeffery


Title: Tethered: A novella-in-flash

Author: Ross Jeffery

Release date: June 1st, 2020

Over the last few years I’ve had a front row seat watching Ross develop his writing. Through ‘Juniper’ and ‘Tome’ Ross has created two great pieces of dark, post apocalyptic fiction, with the third book in the trilogy coming soon.

‘Tethered’ was, from the outset, a book I was hesitant to read. Not because it’s not a ‘horror’ book or because I believed it to be bad. Purely because, as a newer father (my son just turned four) and someone who has a gruffer dad myself, I wasn’t sure if I was emotionally up for a dark dive into a strained father-son relationship.

What I liked: Told through short, quick vignettes, ‘Tethered’ is a stunning piece of fiction. We are there at the beginning, as a child is abandoned, only to grow up and become a dad. His own history of having no father is embedded deep within his soul, so just how can he be a good dad when he himself never experienced that? The chapters/pieces flip back and forth, between the father’s POV and the son’s POV, focusing on key moments throughout their lives. Ross doesn’t hold back, making both characters equally likable and dis-likable. We see how through time and situations their relationship soars and sours and I loved how this was a ‘warts-and-all’ look at interpersonal relationships.

Emotionally, this book has it all. Happiness, sorrow and everything in between. I read this in one sitting and found that the flow of the narrative was such that when the book ended I was surprised I’d read it so quickly.

Ross is such a natural storyteller and ‘Tethered’ shows just how talented he is, even when not writing something with horror-darkness attached. He did justice to a drama-filled piece that I normally wouldn’t find myself that engaged with.

What I didn’t like:  This was more personal than anything, but as someone who has been analyzing their own parent-child relationship over the last twenty years, there are moments in here that felt like a band-aid being ripped off. Some people may find that parts of this are incredibly hard to read, but much like your favorite drama on TV, these moments are necessary to the story. But, seriously Ross, you jerk!

Why you should buy it: This is a stunning, brilliant piece of fiction that at times will read like an autobiography to some of you. Ross has done a fantastic job of really capturing the father-son dynamic and it was a joy (even though incredibly hard to stomach at times) to come along for the ride.

If you are looking for a quick, character driven story that follows two great characters look no further. ‘Tethered’ was outstanding.


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