Ultimate Revenge

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
60 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Ultimate Revenge by Eichin Chang-Lim is a short story examining the value of revenge. Russell ends up spending seven years incarcerated in federal prison after being tricked into delivering guns and drugs for a workmate. Caught in the FBI stakeout, Russell argues his naivety and lack of knowledge of what was in the parcel, but with the disappearance of Joshua, the man he did the favor for, he ends up as the number one criminal in an organized crime case. Now released, reunited with his wife and daughter, and finally making headway with a small restaurant, Russell is consumed by thoughts of revenge and making Joshua pay for stealing seven years of his life. When he accidentally spies the man in a bank, his deep-seated anger emerges, and he immediately begins making plans to enact an act of revenge that will fit the wrong done to him. Joshua has to pay!

This is not the first work I’ve read of Eichin Chang-Lim, an author I have been impressed with. Ultimate Revenge is a short story unlike some of her other work. I was keen to see if her ability to develop character and pinpoint salient issues in relationships and life would translate into this particular format. Russell's undying rage at Joshua’s betrayal is conveyed on every page, and most of us will be able to readily identify with his anger. I found it interesting that despite his seven years in prison, his childhood sweetheart and their daughter stood by him. Yet, despite this, Russell is prepared to risk it all again for all-consuming revenge. The idea of revenge being sweet is something that Chang-Lim addresses head-on, and I enjoyed exploring this idea with her. As a bonus, she provides us with twenty stories of fantastic flash fiction at the end, which is not something I usually read, but I did enjoy these short, pithy tales with some clever twists. Three flash-fiction stories that tickled my fancy were Line by Line, Almost, and I Don’t Mean It, but they all had something genuinely intriguing or exciting to say. I can highly recommend it to those with little time on their hands or wanting to try something short, succinct, and to the point.

Pikasho Deka

Ultimate Revenge by Eichin Chang-Lim contains a short novella on top of a collection of 20 flash fiction stories. It's been thirteen years since Russell fell into a trap that imprisoned him for seven long years. During those initial years of freedom, Russell struggled with anxiety and depression, barely holding on to his marriage with his childhood sweetheart, Kayla, after a near-death accident. Currently living a humdrum family life as a successful restaurant owner, Russell has a blast from the past when he inadvertently runs into the man responsible for his imprisonment, Joshua Silva. Now, Russell has only one thing on his mind, revenge. So, after looking into Joshua's life, Russell concocts a devious plan to hurt the man who took valuable years from his life. But is revenge worth it?

Ultimate Revenge is a thrilling tale of one man's unquenched thirst for vengeance who learns a valuable lesson in his quest. Eichin Chang-Lim infuses themes of forgiveness and learning to let go of one's past demons with this gripping revenge thriller that keeps its hooks in you until the end. Russell is a flawed man who is consumed by the idea of destroying the man who put him in prison, only to realize the toll it would take on his life to execute his plan. He is a compelling protagonist you can relate to. The plot is well-paced, with a couple of unexpected curveballs. The flash fiction stories are a colorful addition to the book as a whole. Short story readers will love this one.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Ultimate Revenge by Eichin Chang-Lim is a standalone sequel to Love, A Tangled Knot and tells the story of Russell, who has been searching for one man for the last thirteen years since he got out of prison; Joshua, the man who got Russell incarcerated. Then, one fateful day, Russell catches a glimpse of Joshua in town. Blood boiling and with a vengeance on his mind, the wheels are set in motion as Russell begins his plan for revenge. But as the days go by, Russell starts to hesitate. Will he let his thirst for revenge control him, or will he find another way to exact his vengeance? One thing is for sure, Russell is the only one who can dictate the outcome of this story.

Ultimate Revenge by Eichin Chang-Lim is a short novella packed with suspense and emotions. There isn’t much to unpack as the story happens in one week. However, Chang-Lim’s use of this timeframe helps to make it feel more concise and always moving. Although we aren’t given a thorough background on the main characters, Chang-Lim provides just enough information to empathize with them and be immersed in their world. With quick pacing and an engaging narrative that will keep you turning the pages, it has the right amount of suspense and a compelling story. Chang-Lim’s new novella is an excellent read for fans of suspense and short stories alike.

Edith Wairimu

In Eichin Chang-Lim’s gripping novella, Ultimate Revenge, a man plots his revenge against the person who led to his wrongful seven-year-long imprisonment. For thirteen years, the name Joshua has been etched in Russell’s mind. Joshua is the man who tricked Russell and caused him to spend years in prison for crimes he did not commit. When Russell spots Joshua years later by chance, the need to avenge himself for the years and freedom lost overcomes him. However, Russell is in a good place now. He is living with the love of his life and daughter and is not sure whether he would want to jeopardize that. Still, he refuses to let Joshua get away with his deceit. The work includes other short stories with striking and unexpected endings, similar to Russell’s story.

Ultimate Revenge is captivating with a thrilling plot full of tension. It begins with an exciting scene as Russell sees Joshua while entering a bank. The tension is maintained throughout the story as Russell grapples with his plans against his enemy. I appreciated that the main character’s back story and the circumstances leading up to his encounter with Joshua are included. His relationship with his wife and daughter is also well-explored. The story ends with a rewarding ending that readers will love. Other short stories in the work are equally surprising with unanticipated and powerful endings. Ultimate Revenge by Eichin Chang-Lim is an engrossing short read with an intriguing storyline and a fascinating ending. Readers will also love the other flash fiction stories included.

Alma Boucher

Ultimate Revenge is a novella written by Eichin Chang-Lim. Russell met Kayla when he was seventeen years old. Despite the necessary precautions, their daughter Alexis was born shortly thereafter. Russell and Kayla could not afford their place, so they lived separately. When Russell started working in construction, his co-workers knew he wanted to marry Kayla. Joshua approached Russell and offered him a delivery job. This job involved delivering a box to a wealthy client. Russell was immediately arrested during the delivery. The box contained weapons and illegal substances. After Russell’s arrest, the FBI could not locate Joshua. Because of his criminal record, Russell struggled to get a job. Thirteen years after Russell’s release from prison, he found Joshua. Russell immediately started planning revenge. It is time for Joshua to experience pain as Russell did.

Ultimate Revenge was fast-paced and intriguing. The chapters flowed into each other. Eichin Chang-Lim planned and executed an exciting plot. This was a short novel jam-packed with action. All the events were produced in a few pages, but the length of the story in no way affected the quality. The characters were excellently developed. They were authentic and robust. They could be anyone I know. I can understand why Russell wanted revenge on Joshua for what he did to him. Russell was driven by hatred, and nothing but revenge would be appropriate for him to ease his pain after his suffering. The story was brilliantly written. I expected the story to end very differently and was surprised by an excellent ending.