Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Review: The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

Title: The Arrival of Missives
Author: Aliya Whiteley
Publisher:  Unsung Stories
Pages: 128
Genres: Science Fiction, Soft, Speculative

The Arrival of Missives is a genre-defying story of fate, free-will and the choices we make in life. In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as predictable as the changing of the seasons.

The scarred veteran Mr. Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. Will it prevent her mastering her own destiny?

As the village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future will be reborn again, Shirley must choose: change or renewal?
This is a really short and strange story. This is the second book by Aliya Whiteley that I have read, the first being The Beauty, which was so weird I had mixed feelings about it. However, I really love Aliya Whiteley's writing style and had heard good things about The Arrival of Missives.

The story is about Shirley, a young girl in a country village just after World War 1, and she has a crush on one of her teachers who has come back from the war scarred and disfigured. Rocks feature prominently. That is all I want to say. It does get a bit weird but nowhere near as odd as The Beauty, thank goodness. It speculates about the future and having knowledge of future events and how a single event in history can be the catalyst for huge changes centuries later. It was very interesting.

The book was a bit too short (around a hundred pages) so I couldn't really get too attached to any of the characters but it was a nice quick read. I read it in around two hours. Whiteley's writing style is beautiful and really suited the slow strangeness of the story, and it has certainly stayed on my mind. If you like stories with a hint of strangeness and want to read something quick, I would definitely recommend this.

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