Book Review: Dreams for the Dying by Adam Light


Title: Dreams for the Dying

Author: Adam Light

Release date: June 14, 2021

Big thanks to Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Evans Light, Adam Light and Corpus Press for sending me a digital review copy of this one!

I’ve not had the privilege of reading anything from Adam yet, but based on what I’ve read, I’ll definitely be seeking out more of his work. ‘Dreams for the Dying’ is his first collection, one that groups together Light’s previously released short fiction.

It opens with a really well done foreword from Duncan Ralston, and while he does a good job of setting the reader up for what awaits, when the first story ‘Taken’ kicks in, even that foreword can’t completely prepare the reader.

What I liked: The collection features eleven stories, and to my pure joy, it also features authors notes on how each story came to be. I LOVE when books and collections have this. I wish every author did it and I often feel the weight deflated when I finish a book, flip the page excited to read an afterword and (whump whump) just see the ‘about the author’ section. These gave great insight into each story. But enough about that, let’s chat about some of my personal favs within.

The first story ‘Taken’ I thought was going to be my personal highlight (until something reared up later on). It follows a long-haul truck driver who wants to fulfill a promise to his wife. In doing so, he kidnaps a waitress. It is a simple premise, but as the story unfolds and we get some layers exposed, Light really delivers a creepy, moody, engaging piece.

‘Vengeance by the Foot’ was a short, crisp, cringe-creator and ‘Gone’ was moody and flew off the pages.

For me, the personal highlight was ‘Valley of the Dunes.’ The note after states that Light wanted to write a very straight forward story, but there is so much to unwrap with that one and the little sneaky nuances that he put within really led to the fantastic ending. Wish that one was a novel it was so good.

What I didn’t like: I really enjoyed each story, but a few didn’t connect with me as deeply as others and that’s a common finding with collections and anthologies. With this, Light delivered eleven really solid stories, but as always, reader mileage may vary between story subjects.

Why you should buy this:  Collections seem to be coming fast and furious lately from authors, but I think Light’s will stand the test of time based on the quality of the writing and the phenomenal way Adam delivers with his storytelling. The collection doesn’t have a sagging point, and the pacing and story sequence was really well done. If you’re looking for a collection to read between chapters of a novel, like I often do, this would be a perfect option.

I think this is a prime example of a seasoned story teller showcasing his absolute best and because of that the reader is richly rewarded.


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