In a story that follows multiple people, I found myself knee deep in personal reflection. The Little Demons Inside by Micah Chaim Thomas supplied me with a full range of emotion through clear, thoughtful prose. He’s created a story world that is all too real. It’s not a place I want to live, but I’m afraid we may occupy a version of it.
The book opens with fire and action, we’re given chemistry that lingers and becomes romance, and the horrors of corrupt people with power threaten us from all angles. The writing is strong, transitions are fluid, and the characters are fleshed out people who have brought me to care.
Various characters, coupled with the narrator offer personal insight that critiques human nature with modern technology. As we’re still breaking the ice, I caught a line that seems a familiar thought to me. While describing smartphones, “You see, these narcissism toys, they keep us looking at the surface, they keep us from searching inward” (72). What we find by the end of the novel is that internal vision…and it’s bleak. The constant cultural conditioning to be the best little cog you can be is only overshadowed by a dream where your digitized narcissism is harvested for profit, leaving the subject apathetic or depressed. As with social media, you are the product. The algorithm figures you out, and your own tendencies become the fruit for an advertising campaign. The story doesn’t beat you over the head with this, but it’s where I found myself.
Though the darkness of the philosophy wants to exist in a vacuum, Thomas offers various insights to humor and humility that shines through. We’re left with a quality novel that fulfilled my expectations in that I was both made to think, and entertained.
Renee and Nathan Matheson bring a child into the world. Hannah is their vision of the future. They’re like most new parents: sleep deprived, stressed out, and doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Once Hannah is a little over three years old, she begins to recall memories of another life. Nathan insists that their daughter has a vivid imagination, but Renee is taken aback by such stories. Hannah insists she is the reincarnation of a murder victim. She leads the way to a shallow grave and the accused. From there it spirals out of control.
Last spring I was knee deep in editing Beatrix and the Wooden Dagger. While trying to distract myself, I stumbled upon an article about children who claim to be reincarnated, thought it ridiculous, and then went down that rabbit hole. I read books on the topic, and decided I had to craft my own narrative. It sparked a piece of writing that took shape with such an organic flow that it felt effortless.
As the last of December became memory I finished the first draft of this short novel! I offered the roughest draft to a couple peers, and let them tear it up. While they went at it, I stepped away. With proper space established, I came back to it with their notes, and have continued to build upon what was already there. It’s calling for one more solid sweep before I send it to my editor for a professional polish.
What I’m getting at is I’m excited. I’m confident in my work, but this is a piece I want to share with enthusiasm. Other works I’ve released into the world without a plan, and a “whatever happens” attitude. But I want to get this book in front of you. Without the final pieces in place, I don’t have a time frame to which I can promise to adhere, but it needs said now: As Flowers With Frost is on the way.