Review: “When Disconnected”, Christine Jayne Vann

Pros: Thoughtful tales of not belonging
Cons: One or two spots where things got a little weird or confusing for me
Rating: 4 out of 5

Author Christine Jayne Vann gives us the anthology: When Disconnected. It’s a fascinating look at many different ways in which one can feel alone in a crowd, or otherwise disconnected from those around them.

Most of these tales take place in a mildly fantastical universe, although a couple keep their feet on the ground for a more ‘normal’ feel. One story has some odd sort of aliens. Another involves a sort of end of the world scenario seen through the eyes of a woman who has outlived her peers. There’s a method of sort-of time traveling that de-ages a small group of people. There’s also a mostly normal school field trip that ends in an oddly bizarre way–it felt a little out of place to me (both the normality and the weird ending).

When Disconnected is a thoughtful collection of tales. I think anyone who’s felt disconnected from their peers or their families will find something in here to relate to. These are relatively short stories, often a small enclosed tale or a slice of life. The book has an introspective tone to it, which worked for me. I found one story ending to be a bit confusing, but I think maybe it was supposed to be confusing. I think. Possibly.

When Disconnected doesn’t take a lot of time to read, but it did succeed in drawing me into those short tales–and for many who try to write short stories, that’s the hardest part of all.

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