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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Everything Is Always Perfect by Ivan Paganacci is a captivating collection of eleven short stories that put characters in extraordinary situations. The book opens with the story "California," where a caretaker wakes up to find the world on the brink of collapse. When people start disappearing in a small town, a young man stumbles upon the mysterious culprit in "Croaker." "Dungeon" follows a woman who travels back to a medieval past in search of an ancient manuscript, only to be held captive in a dungeon after their little group is unexpectedly ambushed. "Hot Shower" is the story of a man who feels alienated in his body, finally realizing the hazards of his occupation. In "The Marionette's Ball," a marionette group deals with losing one of its members and welcoming another into the fold.
Surreal with a dash of the supernatural, Everything Is Always Perfect is an absorbing short story collection that provides thrills galore. Ivan Paganacci's tales reflect ordinary people and their behavior when they face absurd circumstances they have no control over. These stories seamlessly traverse the sci-fi and fantasy genres, giving an added mystique to the tales that make them all the more enthralling to read. Paganacci draws the reader's attention and curiosity with a compelling mystery at the beginning of each story and, without fail, takes you by surprise with an ending you never see coming. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and can't recommend it highly enough to anyone who loves sci-fi or fantasy.