Fiction - Anthology
117 Pages
Reviewed on 02/10/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Immerse yourself in a lively anthology of short stories and poems with Dima Tsyptsiura's Sheg. This collection touches upon a wide range of humanity's issues through different genres, such as sci-fi, fantasy, and mythology. The book opens with a story about a magician discovering cheese while exploring the dark side of the moon, leading him to summon magical cats to eradicate the problem of rats. A master teaches his prodigy how to clean up the environment corrupted by the invasion of an alien fleet in the Orion system. A gamer wants to become immortal and invulnerable in the real world, just like he feels when playing his favorite video game. Death finally got tired and decided to take a break, to the cheers of the masses. A man with a donkey finds himself navigating new challenges in his life.

Sheg is an enthralling short story collection that explores how humanity chooses to deal with change and aspires to further its ideals. Author Dima Tsyptsiura's narratives traverse the boundaries of absurdism, sci-fi, satire, and surrealism to take you on a uniquely extraordinary odyssey that makes you contemplate and leaves you with a lot to ponder about long after you've finished the book. Thematically, this collection is about hope and resilience in the face of adversity. Each story and poem covers universal themes related to the human condition but feels distinct and brings something of its own within the larger narrative. The anthology is concise and a breeze to read. All in all, this is an engaging collection that I will recommend to all short story lovers out there.

Asher Syed

Sheg, by Dima Tsyptsiura, is a collection of original short stories. Each piece reads as a standalone, although there are independent works that tie into others in the collection. The stories range in tone and tenor, from Attacked, where the speaker undergoes a jarring mental intrusion revealing a future society overtaken by a virtual world, prompting a plea to forsake this simulated reality for genuine exploration, to Night, which follows a man striking a pact with the Devil for power and immortality, only to face unforeseen consequences. Death is on the Break humorously portrays Death's discontent despite receiving an award, and Stars paints a scene of creation with the Creator encountering Death, symbolizing the cyclical essence of existence amid a mystical atmosphere with obscured stars.

I really love a good short story, and so when this collection by Dima Tsyptsiura came along, I was thrilled. This feeling was compounded as soon as I started to read Sheg. Tsyptsiura is exceptionally talented at crafting a fully immersive reading experience in a short time and proves that, in the hands of a seasoned writer, brevity can be just as fulfilling as longer work. The standout to me is Earth, where legends suggest that Earth holds the key to absolute power and control. A massive approaching fleet analyzes the third planet for signs of life, and the story takes a whimsical turn with the introduction of Zlatik, a boy on board the main science vessel. The writing is clean and simple despite the depth Tsyptsiura imbues into each piece, and when all is said and done, this thought-provoking, intelligent, and wonderfully entertaining anthology stays with a reader long after it is finished. Very highly recommended.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Sheg is a book of poetry and prose by Dima Tsyptsiura. In the title story, Sheg, a wizard, is on the moon, and the mystery of the title is revealed later in the book. A set of stories continues his narrative, focusing on the function of beings in time and space, computers, and algorithms. In this work, Tsyptsiura mentions that he wrote some of the stories when he was sixteen, and a set of works follows that reflect the roots or alternate endings of the tales. The author includes pictures with affirmations on a whiteboard. He puts together a short, practical guide for helping people and setting your goals and what you need to attain them.

Dima Tsyptsiura presents a set of thought-provoking stories with relatable lessons. Some stories read similarly to poetry, and the dialogue is crafted almost like a verse. I enjoyed the quirky nature of the pieces, and I liked Tsyptsiura's positive message. I appreciated the story about the donkey as it showed that when you think your circumstances are bad, they can be worse, and you have the power to make them better. At the end of the book, the author provides a link that will show you how to experience the material in his book again and again. The book is succinct, and it benefits the reader to absorb all its moving elements in one session. Sheg is a unique and eclectic book for readers who enjoy magical realism, fantasy, and science fiction.