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Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Reviewette: Unearthed Anthology: Illusion by Edmond Cheng

Publisher: Midnight Showcase
Pages: 92-171

From the cover: A haunting, a vision, a nasty headache, and a murder…
What’s next? Illusion will distort and re-shape your view.

Author’s Bio
Edmond Cheng, nationality: Chinese currently living in Hong Kong, he
is interested in writing mystery. Illusion is his first story.
Apart from writing, he teaches English as a full time job.

Thomas and Karen are happily married or so he thinks. But could it all be an illusion? When Aunt Wai Ha comes to visit, he becomes disturbed by her allegations. Jonathon and Helen, his best friends, are also concerned, but then again, is it all just an illusion?

As the story continues, it becomes more and more convoluted and confused, reality and illusion mixing until one is hard to tell from the other.

Accusations fly, is Helen having an affair and plotting Jonathon's murder? Is Karen who she appears to be? Is Thomas being haunted by ghosts, spirits, apparitions? As the story unravels, confusion ensues, life and death struggles begin and end. Who will remain?

Illusion by Edmond Cheng is just what the title states, it's all an illusion, the fevered imaginations of the protagonist in the story, Thomas. As Thomas' life ebbs and flows, the reader begins to see that all is not right. His story, his reality contradicts itself as a way of preserving his sanity. Because, instead of seeing what it before his eyes to believe, he chooses to look through rose colored glasses to perceive what he would like reality to be.

Illusion is a fun little read that was confusing at times. The use of American English is not perfect, nor are the speech patterns. It entwines Chinese mysticism and Western ideas, bringing us a story that is unique in it's rendition. I once read a Chinese fable about an attacking army, and while reading this story, I was reminded of the fable in the manner in which it was told. There is strong cultural influences used in the story that increase the enjoyment of the reading, but at the same time, cause to reader to stop and re-reading passage to gain the full impact of it's meaning. It was almost like reading a fast pace action movie filmed in Hong Kong, which just happens to produce some awesome movies that includes some of my favorites. It's a twisting, turning, gut-retching read. This is Mr. Cheng's first attempt at writing and since English is not his first language, it is my opinion that he did an excellent job. I truly enjoyed reading this novella, the story is exciting and a real psychological thriller. The use of imagery was good though sometimes simplistic, and at other times, bold and engaging. I loved the influences of his Chinese culture throughout the story. It was pleasure to read something, though Americanized, retained it's cultural influences. If you looking for an uncomplicated read, try something else. If you don't mind an involving read, give it a try, you might enjoy it, but be prepared for the fast pace and tone.

I received this book in ebook format from the author. All opinions expressed are my own.


Blodeuedd said...

Hi Dottie,
Sounds interesting, I'd like to know what kinds of illusions, yes my curiosity was peaked :)

Unknown said...

Hi B!

Hope you get a next to enjoy it!

Dottie :)

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