One Star: The Behrg
Reviewed By Steve Stred
- Format: Kindle Edition
- Print Length: 17 pages
“Opening paragraphs can turn a reader off as quickly as a 3 am infomercial.”
How do you even write a review on a short story (about 20 pages) that is both an ode to reviewers but focuses on the absolutely darkest side of reviewing?
The Behrg messaged me and asked if I was at all checking out his short story and I said absolutely. I didn’t expect what was inside. He gave me the basic premise – what happens when a one-star review from a book blogger/reviewer causes the author so much grief that they kill themselves lives on Facebook?
The story follows book blogger Li making the last post on their review site. Li had given William Han who writes under the pseudonym Jaxson Creed’s latest book “Lost Roll of Film” a one-star review and following the review, William has committed suicide while streaming live. Throughout Berhg both gives us a contemplative look at how reading and writing are both magically individual but also publically visible.
“Reading is a subjective experience, one which we each bring our own backstory into, which inexplicably changes the words written into a narrative that can only be experienced once.”
As Behrg says later on in the afterword – how a book reads to each reader changes based on where the reader is currently in their life and in a few days, weeks, months or years that specific book can completely change. We’ve all read about the horror stories associated with an author overreacting to a review – to the point of some even stalking and threatening reviewers.
While I’ve never reacted to a bad review (I can’t control how a reader will respond to what I’ve released. Everyone likes things a little differently), I have had a review taken out of context and it wasn’t a good feeling. Luckily after some back and forth and time, cooler heads prevailed.
Throughout, Behrg subtly hints at the lingering emotional and mental scaring this incident has already created in Li’s mind. The ghostly allusions within were really well done and made me feel uneasy about what was to come.
Behrg packs a ton of emotional punch into such a short tale but the icing on the cake is absolutely the ending. I never saw it coming and when I got there, it was so solidly done that I almost felt foolish with how giddy it made me. I really can’t speak about the ending any more without spoiling it completely. I’ll just say kudos for that.
Overall this was a rare gem of perfectly paced story, the page count just right and the author builds in a ton of back story without having to excessively describe the characters upbringing.
An absolute thrill ride that is firmly based on an extreme case of what could happen with a one-star review.
Star Rating (out of 5): 5*
Every action has a consequence. But when Li posts a one-star review of a novel on her book blog, the results are far more frightening than she could ever have imagined.
Not every story was meant to have a happy ending.
ONE STAR is a previously unpublished horror short story, being released in The Behrg’s upcoming short story collection–“The Passengers You Cannot See.” It is the author’s love letter to book bloggers and reviewers and thus is being offered as a free download to any book reviewer in part to thank all those who have been a part of the author’s journey. And if you haven’t yet been a part, there’s no better time than now to jump in that car and ride along. Oh, the vistas you will see.
One Star is intended to be available for FREE.
I’ve quoted The Behrg to clarify
“To any interested in this story, please DON’T buy it from Amazon yet! This is meant to be a free read but the Zon takes forever to match that price. It’s free on iBooks, Kobo or B&N, if you need a kindle version hit me up with a DM (@TheBehrg) and I’ll send it your way!”
Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak Horror author.
Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.
On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?
Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.
Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?
But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.
While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.
The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.
The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.
Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.
YOU TAKE FROM ME
I TAKE FROM YOU
Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.
But what if it’s not…
What if there is something out there?
The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”
With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.
Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.
Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…