Appetizers by Geonn Cannon is a collection of 15 short stories that encompass a variety of genres and time periods. As with any Cannon novel, the characters are unique and interesting, and the story lines don’t always follow what you’d expect. Many of the tales seem to be meet-cutes of a sort, with unacquainted people meeting and making a connection. However, there are a few with established couples and some re-connects.
The sheer variety of characters and genres contained within guaranteed that I wouldn’t like them all, though my distaste had nothing to do with the actual writing of the character. It is simply that some genre’s and situations I care for more than others. But Geonn Cannon does a great job with character building, and making those people come to life.
The cast includes a bookie, women from the 1800’s, a soccer star, college student, porn stars, a violent drifter and more. How many authors can write a diverse cast with such fluidity and ease? Cannon does this and does it well.
The Writing Style
I’ve always thought that Geonn Cannon’s novels were easy to read and engaging. I’ve rarely found a novel with spelling or grammar issues that would kick me out of the tale mid-read. Despite the variety of genres and characters, he has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are in that time, with that person. He sucks you in. There are certain authors out there that even if the story is premise I’ve never heard of, or a genre that I don’t usually read, I know the author is still going to entertain me. It is an assumption of quality. I made such an assumption on Cannon’s work a long time ago and I’m glad that streak continues unabated with this collection.
One of the things I really liked about this novel were the touchstone references to the Radiation Canary series by the same author. Sometimes characters would bond over a shared like of a certain song, or talk about seeing the band in concert.
In one particular tale, Celestine & the Gypsy: Radiation Canary Prequel, was a poignant snapshot of Lana Kent’s mother. Lana is the lead singer of Radiation Canary which is a band featured in two of Cannon’s other books. (The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary, and Radiation Canary: Greatest Hits) Both happen to be my favorites by this author.
Not all the genres were to my taste, and others may find the same thing. Also true of some of the characters and their situations. One story is about a female couple who both work in the porn industry. Another story is about a two women who are sneaking their love because one is married.
The biggest con for me is that some of the great stories were only short snippets of what could be a truly excellent tale. For those my brain screamed, “give me more!”
Let me start this by saying I’m not typically a fan of anthologies or story collections. Usually when I want to sit down with a novel I want a nice long read, a single engaging tale. That being said, it helps that I’m already a huge fan of Geonn Cannon’s.
Cannon’s writing quality made it a lot easier to dive into this book.
I love that I got glimpses of characters and details that are featured in some of his other full length novels. I also love that I got to see a wider breadth of Cannon’s writing skills.
So, considering that story collections aren’t my cup of tea, I very much enjoyed this novel. If nothing else, a savvy reader can use it to get a taste of Cannon’s writing skill and character building, or read it for those filaments of more familiar works by him. Either way, it is an enjoyable read because there is something for nearly everyone contained within.
Excerpt from Appetizers by Geonn Cannon
She arrived just before the time they’d agreed upon, so she got a table by the window so she could see him approaching. She was facing the window when someone lightly touched her shoulder.
She twisted and looked up at Debra’s roommate. “Oh, it’s you! Hello. We weren’t properly introduced earlier. I’m Hannah.”
“Uh, yeah. I—I know.” She took Hannah’s hand. “I’m Regan.”
Hanna’s smile wavered. “Oh. That’s…that’s, uh…” She repositioned herself to look at the other woman straight-on. Her hair was styled differently and disguised the fact that it was shaved on the sides, but the shape of her chin, the jawline, those magnificent eyes…And the real telling trait was the tattoo that was visible on her throat, black flames licking up from the open collar of her blouse. It was Regan, without a doubt, but for a moment Hanna couldn’t make her mind connect the two realities.
“You’re a woman.”
“Yes, I am.” Regan carefully settled across from Hanna, as if expecting to be dismissed at any second. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realized you didn’t realized when we met. I should have said something when you came looking for me this afternoon, but to be honest I didn’t want to dash your hopes. It really was romantic. And I guess I as just flattered. I didn’t want to just dump the truth on you. She furrowed her brow. “I don’t know why I thought it would be better this way.”
Hanna said, “I don’t know which way would be better, so I can’t really blame you for the one you chose.” She was trying not to stare, but it was like one of those optical illusions. She’d met this person twice, and both times she saw a different gender. Now that she knew the truth, she could see both at the same time. Regan was handsome and beautiful, somewhere right in the middle of the traditional measure for either. If she wore something a bit less androgynous in either direction, she would tip over to that gender.
“I know. I’m sorry. I just can’t get over the fact. You’re definitely a woman. But…at the part, I would have sworn you were a man.”
Regan Smiled. “I was feeling masculine that night. I was going to a concert. So I dressed the part. This afternoon I was just hanging out at home, so…I wanted to be girly.”
“You just go back and forth?”
“No,” Regan said. “I just dress appropriately for the situation, just like anyone else. Like you did when you got ready to come out. I don’t decided I’m going to look like a boy or a girl. I just wear what I want. It’s other people who make the assumptions.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781944591441
- Publisher: Supposed Crimes (May 1, 2018)
Geonn Cannon Online
If you enjoyed this book then you should also look at
If you enjoy anthologies and other such short story collections, you may also enjoy the novel, Spread the Love. Though this one is a bit different from Cannon’s as it has 7 tales by 7 different Authors. (Fletcher DeLancey, Lois Cloarec Hart, Erzabet Bishop, JL Merrow, Sandra Barret, T.M. Croke, and Alisha Kelley)
Note: I received a free review copy of Appetizers by Geonn Cannon. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site