As I Embrace My Jagged Edges by Lee Thompson; Sideshow Press; 2011; 41 pgs; $3.00 US
I’ve come across Lee Thompson’s short stories in a few anthologies over the past year and after reading them I have always come away impressed. Lee is very adept at creating suspense and tension from the opening lines of a story and following through to its end. The other thing Lee does quite well is inserting a horrifying twist into his stories that take the readers by surprise or least rattles them. When As I Embrace My Jagged Edges was released, I thought it a good opportunity to see how he handled a longer piece of fiction.
As I Embrace My Jagged Edges is essentially a tale of a close knit family on the run. A demon has been chasing them around the world in order to acquire a shard that will grant who ever posses it power over all demons and eternal life. The stories focus is on a young man named Boaz who has become the guardian of the shard after his uncle is murdered.
Boaz is tired of running and has been caught up in the whole family dynamic of protecting the shard by fleeing or fighting against those who covet it. Complicating matters is his yearning to further explore his sexuality and have relationships, a matter of great disappointment and consternation for his mother.
Though As I Embrace My Jagged Edges is only 41 pages long, Thompson manages to pack quite a punch into the story. The prose is tight and he manages to pack enough character development into the story to make us care about his lead character and understand the motivations of those surrounding him. His use of atmosphere to support the story is outstanding and his action scenes deliver the goods.
Thompson should also be commended on using aspects of the Jewish faith and Jewish mythology in framing his story; it gives the story a fresh feel and prevents it from sliding into tired or clichéd territory.
As I mentioned above, I had thought that Lee Thompson was a writer of some pretty damn good short fiction and As I Embrace My Jagged Edges only reinforces this opinion. He’s got the chops to go pretty far in this genre and I’m hoping to read a lot more of his work in the future.
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