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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Spontaneous Combustion Vol. II is a short fiction collection that features delectable and, at times, mouthwatering tales from a selection of writing talent, including Maxwell Reagan, Claudia Ionescu, et al. The composition of this collection came about in a very interesting way. The editors gave out three prompts to writers and asked them to provide a piece of pulp fiction within twenty-four hours. This book features the best of the work. As one reads from story to story, one notices the creativity, the gift for storytelling and plot, and one encounters characters that seem to emerge from the ordinary life to make a difference.
I loved most of the stories but my favorite was Detective Luke Miller and the Stolen Saxon Sword, a story that is deftly written, balanced, featuring exquisite prose. The dialogues are well crafted and it is interesting how the author allows the slang to come out in the dialogues, a powerful reflection of the setting and the background of some of the characters. The stories in this book are well edited and some are mind bending. In fact, there is something in it for every fan of pulp fiction and short stories. Spontaneous Combustion Vol. II is beautifully formatted to make for a wonderful reading experience. The diversity in tone and narrative voice is among the things that make this collection very readable. This is a book for readers looking for short fiction that entertains. You’ll find yourself navigating exciting worlds and investigating the hearts of interesting and intriguing characters.