Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
S.O.S. Animals and Other Stories by Fiza Pathan is a collection of 26 short stories which range from parable-like stories backed up by biblical texts, to unusual scenarios which cause the reader to stop and think. Many of the stories involve animals in one way or another, which makes this a book that will appeal to readers old and young alike. The stories are brief yet succinct and told in a voice that expands on the parable image. All 26 stories are completely different, yet have a similarity running through them that makes this an appealing collection. The scenarios are unusual and sometimes a little bizarre, but fit perfectly with the resolution at the end of each story.
The author, Fiza Pathan, has compiled an unusual yet appealing collection of stories in this book, which came as quite a surprise at first. However, the unusual writing approach actually works really well and captures the imagination of the reader in an unexpected way. For example, in Chaos at the Mall, the reader is led to wonder what on earth can be going on, yet is compelled to keep reading as stranger things keep occurring at a chaotic Christmas time in a shopping mall in Mumbai. It is only right at the end that it all comes together and makes perfect sense. This is just one example, but all the other stories have a similar format, giving a satisfactory explanation and ending each time. The author is to be applauded for thinking outside the box and producing something completely different that would be suitable for all ages and could also be used as short stories that children would enjoy or daily meditations by adults.