This is a sticky review to write.
Flight of Destiny, by Francis H. Powell
"A collection of 22 short stories about misfortune characterized by unexpected final twists at the end of each tale."
This review has to be a game of two halves.
Firstly, to Powell's writing.
This is the first time that I have read Francis H. Powell. I hope though, not the last. The stories within these pages are well written, and strangely articulate. Powell has a style of writing that is unusual to find within the pages of a collection of horror shorts. His choice of words careful, each sentence seems to be crafted, rather than written. Which is, of course, excellent.
As with any collection, the stories themselves contain a variety of shocks, some signposted and holding no great shock, others standout and again, crafted, with skills.
Standout stories for me must include:
Cast From Hell: a wicked little tale, the last in the collection, and going out with a bang. A man cast from Hell within a woman's body... and I can say no more without spoiling. But it's excellent.
Bug-Eyes: A mother dis-owning her son because of his looks and the redemption years on...
Slashed: Shall we say, artistry gone wrong? You'll have to read to find out.
That said, there were no stories that I found left a bad after taste in my mouth. All positive points.
My only real criticism of Powell's stories is that on occasion they finished a little quickly. Abruptly. Story, story, story, twist, end. Sometimes I wanted to know the reaction of the characters, but this style of twist-ending is common, and I felt was a wonderful representation of the old Tales of the Unexpected television program.
There is however a bad side to the review.
The second half: the editing and editorial within the piece.
Immediately upon opening the book I was presented with the Foreword of the book, written, I noted by one of the editors of the book. Surprised as I was to find it was now a Forward. So immediately I was put off, assuming this represented the quality of Powell's writing, which of course it doesn't.
However, the quality of editing is not of a standard that I expect from a book published through a house, one "Savant Books and Publications", with two credited editors. Progressively more noticeable throughout the book are editorial errors and mistakes, proving on occasion to be a little off-putting.
But it takes nothing away from Powell's writing. Of that I assure.
Sadly, if not for the poor editing, it would have fared better.
You can purchase Flight of Destiny on Amazon here:
And find out more about the author here: