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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Kerəktərs is a short story collection by T.C. Kennaley. Comprising eight stories, it opens with The Movement, where a state-sanctioned journalist covers a rebellious festival full of free thinkers living under an authoritarian regime. Next, a century-old house waits in dread for its new owner, only to find a kindred soul in a cantankerous old man in Grump. Next, The Applicant follows a person living in a futuristic dystopian world run by automated machines who applies for a ruthlessly competitive minimum wage job without benefits. In The Dawn, a man living in the prehistoric age wakes up one morning to a new sense of morality and tries to teach his tribe ingenious ways of living. Finally, a man attempts to complete the eight steps of a self-help book to mixed results in Help Thyself.
A diverse blend of genres and settings makes Kerəktərs a riveting collection of short stories. Author T.C. Kennaley incorporates sci-fi, satire, and dry humor to weave captivating tales that shed light on very relevant issues we face today. Each story touches upon a different underlying theme and ends in an unpredictable climax, leaving you in shock and awe. But the humor and the satirical flair pull you in, keeping you immersed in the pages. Kennaley also does a masterful job of creating dystopian worlds that feel believable within a few pages. Although I enjoyed all of them, The Applicant and Help Thyself were two of my favorites. All in all, a big thumbs up!