Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: "Our Frozen Wings" (Becky Wicks)

Skagway, Alaska, natives Ella and Oscar are teenagers, very much in love. Their date-night destination this evening: to see the town psychic, Damien, and find out why Ella keeps hearing strange music in her family's house at night, where she lives with just her mother.

The meeting with Damien, and a number of other townspeople, some known and some unknown to the teenagers, turns up more questions than answers ... at first. But as the evening unfolds, it becomes clear that neither Oscar nor Ella really have a grasp of the situation as it stands, until the final shocking revelation.

Author Becky Wicks presents her short story, "Our Frozen Wings," which is a sweet, small-town romance with a wholly unexpected twist at the end ... precisely what you want to see in a short story.

The short story genre in general tends to be characterized by much less character development, far fewer subplots (or none at all), and very little description or backstory when compared to a full-length novel, simply because the length requirements of the genre demand less of everything. For that reason, some readers aren't as enthusiastic about short stories as they are about other types.

Wicks's short story features three main characters, aforementioned, in a straightforward situation whose forward momentum doesn't span any length of time beyond a single evening outing. Ella and Oscar take turns as the focal characters, sometimes within the same chapter, a phenomenon that some readers will call "head-hopping" and be less than pleased about, but assorted romance novels have that kind of back-and-forth between the hero and heroine's perspectives, respectively.

From the first chapter, Wicks achieves sympathy for her likable protagonists: their infatuation and intimacy with one another will make even the most cynical or hardened smile in recognition and empathy. Who, after all, hasn't been head-over-heels in love before?

And the climactic sequence will catch every reader off-guard, guaranteed ... I never saw the pivotal plot twist coming, which is as high a compliment as I can give an author, especially in a genre (romance) that tends to so often encompass predictable cliches. No cliches here!

The weakest part of the work is the amount of backstory and the flashbacks that make up a vast majority of the plot. While perhaps necessary for this particular story situation and these specific characters, backstory and flashbacks stop the forward momentum of the plot in its tracks, and whenever that happened, I lost interest in what was going on. Perhaps the work could be reformatted in vignettes so that the important scenes of the characters' lives could be shown (instead of "told") in "real time" sections, one after another, up to the present evening, so that the "current day" story wouldn't be jeopardized by skipping back so often.

That said, for a quick, sweet read with a sensational ending, cozy up with "Our Frozen Wings."

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Author: Becky Wicks
Title: "Our Frozen Wings"
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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