Parachute: Holly Rae Garcia
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I could’ve sworn I’d read some of Rae Garcia’s short fiction previously, but when I looked on Goodreads, it turns out she’s not been in the Kandisha Press Anthologies I’ve read so far, and the other anthologies she’s appeared in, I haven’t read either.
Either way though, the synopsis for ‘Parachute’ had me really intrigued and as a fan of reading (and writing) about portals, this was one I was super excited to check out.
What I liked: Having graduated the day before, a group of friends heads out to hang out and party, in a sort of ‘one last hurrah all together’ moment at an old elementary school. Once there, they decide to break in and see what’s left, and it’s while there that they find an old parachute.
It’s funny, because just the other day my wife and I were telling our 5 year old about how much he loved the parachute game when we had him in a baby music class a few years back, but I hadn’t thought of the parachute in school for years otherwise. You all remember that? Everyone would grab onto the parachute edge, raise it up and then run towards the middle, creating this massive balloon effect. You’d then sit on the edge and it would say filled. Lots of fun, right? Well not in Holly’s story. In here, each time they do it they get transported to crazy worlds, and as things escalate we get to see how they attempt to work together to figure out the “rules” of these other worlds and how to safely make it back.
I really loved these snippets (and while I would’ve actually preferred waaaaaaay more of these worlds, it worked well in this context) and it really kept the group guessing as to what was going to happen. I could actually see some of these worlds making for great sequels/set-in-the-same-world stories to see what happens to each of the characters who entered those places.
What I didn’t like: The novella itself opens up with a lot of detail regarding what the main character’s house looks like and it really felt a bit too much, especially given the length of the story.
Additionally, there was a love-triangle aspect that felt under-utilized, especially when odd portal related things occurred.
And lastly, there is zero resolution at the ending. I actually thought my Kindle had skipped ahead and I’d missed something, but alas the chapter ends and a prologue arrives, leaving me with SOOOOOO many questions.
Why you should buy this: ‘Parachute’ is a ton of fun, with some incredibly intriguing aspects that Rae Garcia really amplifies to keep you on the edge of your seat. I really dug how the group came together and vowed to keep going back to save each other. This is one that a lot of folks will read in a single sitting and find themselves breathless when they finish.
Definitely one to check out.
Angela Rodriguez and her friends aren’t sure what they want out of life now that they’ve graduated high school, but they think there is plenty of time to figure it all out. When a trip to an abandoned elementary school leads to a break-in, they discover an old gym parachute.
Raising the fabric above their heads, the group expects it to balloon out around them like it did when they were younger. But instead, the parachute reveals alternate universes and terrifying worlds.
There’s only one rule…
DON’T LET GO
Steve Stred is the Splatterpunk Nominated Author of ‘Sacrament’ and ‘Mastodon.’
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Steve has released over a dozen novels and novellas as well as a number of collections. He has appeared alongside some of horror’s biggest names within some truly excellent anthologies.
He is a proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant and an Active Member of the HWA.