- One Star.
- The Behrg.
- 17 pages.
- Horror / Fiction / Short Story.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
Every action has a consequence. But when Li posts a one-star review of a novel on her book blog, the results are far more frightening than she could ever have imagined. Not every story was meant to have a happy ending.
I first heard about One Star after Lisa at OwlBeSatReading mentioned it in a comment to me and said that she’d like to know what I thought about the story. I checked it out, saw it was free, downloaded it, decided to give it a go and as they say, the rest is history.
One Star is only 17 pages in length and it is a story that anyone who has ever written a review needs to read. It will only take you around ten-to-fifteen minutes and it is well worth it. I have read the story three times now and each time I am left in awe at how clever it is.
Li is the blogger at Modern Maiden of Horror and after a recent tragedy, she is writing her last blog post.
William Han, a horror writer who writes under the pseudonym Jaxon Creed recently committed suicide. Streaming his death live on Facebook. The video spread like wildfire before being pulled from all social media sites. But, it is known throughout the blogging community and beyond that in his video, Jaxon Creed lays, at least part of the blame for his death at the feet of Li and her one-star review of his latest book, Lost Roll of Film.
Even though Li’s review isn’t the only reason for the suicide, it played a part, it was the tipping point, pushing someone who had been standing on the brink, on the edge finally over.
Everything that you write is out there, be it a review for a book or the book itself ready and waiting to be read and critiqued by the masses. Positive, negative, middling, you don’t know the response that you will get. The only thing for certain, your words, your creation, part of your heart, part of your soul are visible for all to see.
Reading is a personal experience and it is subjective. This is mentioned in both One Star by Li and in the author’s afterword (which is fascinating) by The Behrg and it is true. Our experiences, our life, our losses, our opinions and our views all cloud how we see things and what we take from them.
Li had loved Creed’s previous book, Brick by Brick but Lost Roll of Film just didn’t work for her. Her review of Lost Roll of Film was constructive, there was no hate towards the author, no melodramatic bashing of the book and she simply focused on what worked and what didn’t work for her in the book. There was nothing included in the review that should have pushed Creed over the edge, only her own honest opinion.
However, you don’t know what is going on with someone behind the screen and in real-life. The words you write have power, they can impact on others, they can lift someone up or, they can bring someone crashing down. Li’s words, with no malice intended, were the catalyst that brought Creed crashing down.
The toll that Creed’s suicide has had on Li, lingers, haunting her and that is why she is walking away from her blog and is writing her blogging goodbye.
With One Star The Behrg has written a cunning, concise and complete story, smart and succinct with a brilliant and unexpected ending. The writing flows well, there’s dark imagery, poetic sentences, plenty of emotion and the story features a shocking twist that is totally surprising and expertly implemented.
One Star is a little slice of sinister storytelling, a relevant story that is both thrilling and darkly entertaining.
Purchase One Star (free in both the UK and the US).
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