by James Fadeley, Johnathan Ward, A. R. Aston, Manuel Mesones
“We’ve been keeping an eye on these subjects for a while.
A simple glance couldn’t tell you the extraordinary things these anomalies, these gifted individuals we call Outliers are truly capable of. And those differences often find them on the wrong side of families, friends and the law.
Most wish only to hide from persecution or from being studied. But more emerge with every passing year, and it is becoming harder and harder to keep them secret. Worse, many don’t want to be hidden and have begun to gang together to obtain power, wealth and control.
Gathered here are reports and dossiers from AURA, the United States’ Agency of Unusual Resource Acquisitions. Our task is the extra-judicial monitoring and containment of Outlier-related incidents, and keeping the chaos to a minimum for the sake of national security.
But the job is getting more difficult every day, and if the past is any warning…
—Adam Zimmerman, Director of AURA
Includes several pieces of flash fiction, as well as the four short stories:
FUBAR by Jonathan Ward
For a Fistful of Diamonds by A. R. Aston
The Falcon by Jonathan Ward
The Beast in the Beauty by James Fadeley
Also featuring characters and factions developed by Alec McQuay and Robbie MacNiven, and illustrations and artwork by Manuel Mesones.”
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review.
Outliers is a collection of short stories by different writers. I haven’t read many short story collections before – none which featured several authors – so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Outliers are people with special abilities. AURA – a military branch – does its best to keep them secret for their own safety as well as that of regular people who haven’t developed abilities, but naturally that doesn’t always work. Often parents and friends are aware that their loved ones aren’t ‘normal’, and often innocents get drawn into their struggle for power. Many Outliers have been made to feel like outcasts, some have been abused in one way or another long before their abilities showed themselves. They are out for vengeance, while others just want to live their lives in peace, without hurting anyone.
Each writer has put their own spin and style onto the stories. No two stories are the same, and feature different characters and different situations. My personal favourites were the story of Joe, who burns things (to avoid spoilers I’m being vague) and Sara, who can read minds and just wants to protect her sister, Mara, who has a dark side (again, for the sake of spoilers… You understand.)
The stories themselves were intriguing to read through and I loved learning more about the various characters, but for me its the overall design that makes this collection stand out. You have military reports, letters, newspaper articles – not presented as normal chapters, but presented as military reports, letters, and newspaper articles. There are handwritten signatures, coffee stains, portraits, annotations made in red pen – you get the idea.
If you’re looking for a quick urban fantasy read (55 double-sided pages on my kindle) with intriguing characters who have fascinating abilities, and a design that reflects each short story in a fitting manner, than Outliers: The Shape of Things to Come is definitely for you! If you’re not sure if you’d enjoy it – I mentioned it’s short, didn’t I? There’s no long-term commitment involved if you don’t enjoy it 🙂
Have you read Outliers: The Shape of Things to Come, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
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