See You When The World Ends: Simon Paul Wilson
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Full disclosure here, but as you may be aware, myself and Simon Paul Wilson are both members of Kendall Reviews and read/review/submit features for Gavin. Saying that, I purchased this off of Amazon with my own money and the thoughts are 100% mine and my experience with this novella.
This was actually my first go around with Simon’s writing and I must say, he has crafted a gem here. It was filled with intrigue, tension, concern and a ton of emotional depth, which I wasn’t expecting. The ending of this one is both heartwarming AND heartbreaking. I would love to see a second installment here, see how things progress from that moment in the garden.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
What I liked: The story centers around our main character Tim and his best friend Naomi. They spend every waking moment together and it’s apparent to us, the reader, that there are deeper feelings present, but unannounced between them. When Naomi returns to Hong Kong from the UK for her sister’s wedding, Tim discovers just how much of his life focuses on Naomi, and how much he truly loves her and misses her.
The story hums along, remaining pretty straightforward. Tim misses Naomi, Naomi misses Tim, they email each other back and forth and we follow along.
It’s not until Naomi sends an odd email, announcing something that she needs to share and Tim’s dreams take a severe and dark turn that Paul Wilson begins to tease out that not all that we see is what it really is and a chance meeting with a woman at the bookstore and a discussion on dreams really ramps things up.
I loved the Tim and Naomi relationship and how we get pulled by their deep feelings. This relationship depth ultimately is what makes the climax of Tim’s journey and the ultimate ending of the book so powerful but also so soul-shattering.
What I didn’t like: The book moves along briskly, but there are a few spots where not a lot goes on as we see Tim pining for Naomi. Personally, I’m not a big fan of epistolary storytelling and this did have a bit of that with the email exchanges, but it does work well to reduce the need to have phone conversations.
Why you should buy this: This novella has it all; it’s sweet, has emotional depth, but also darkness and despair. You see two friends, who love each other more than either will admit, go as far as they can to save each other and ultimately bring themselves close together. The ending will stay with me for some time.
See You When The World Ends
A tale of friendship & love, dreams & mirrors, and the ghostly apparition of a blurred-faced woman.
Tim loves Naomi Wong from Hong Kong. He just didn’t realise it until now.
When Naomi returns home for her sister’s wedding, It finally dawns on Tim that his feelings for her run deeper than friendship. He starts to have a recurring dream. Unfortunately, he can never seem to remember the exact details, but he knows it’s telling him something very important.
Then the ghostly apparition of a blurred-face woman starts to haunt his waking world.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction.
Steve is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters (Tim Lebbon, Gemma Amor, Adrian J. Walker, Ramsey Campbell) in some fantastic anthologies.
He is an active member of the HWA.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife and son.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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