Flip who is a mage is sent back to a lab where she was held prisoner to rescue another mage, Emma Rose.
Flip has low self-esteem because she deems her own abilities “not as cool” as everyone else’s. She mainly cooks and cares for the other residents at the mansion she lives at.
She is definitely a great character. Even though it’s a short story I really got a sense for her kind, caring, and nurturing nature.
Emma Rose is one of the many magi held captive at a laboratory. She has been beaten down and broken from her hard life and experiences she has lived through.
The Writing Style
It’s short, sweet, and endearing.
The perspective switches between Flip and Emma.
I loved the story and its premise! The fact that a character was mute and used American Sign Language or ASL was FANTASTIC. Very sui generis!
I also loved the fact that Flip wasn’t the classic character you always read about in les fic, the muscular beef-caked or slim with a six-pack of abs kind of girl. She is described as soft and I loved that. Why? I can relate to the same character description.
The story was so short, if that’s a con. I would love to have had this been a full length novel I wanted to read more about an adventure where a character was mute and they used sign.
Also because it was short I feel like a lot was cram packed into the pages.
I wish this story was longer! But alas I am grateful that Kayla Bashe took the time to write such an idiosyncratic story. Now I hunger for more. I recommend this to any reader who enjoys the fantasy genre to give this short story a read. It will take no time at all and leave a good impression.
Excerpt from Screaming Down Splitsville by Kayla Bashe
She wasn’t exceptionally resilient or brave. But when she had been trapped in the lab, thinking of one special curly-haired girl had helped her feign those qualities for long enough. When the lab assistants moved Magi from cell to laboratory, they were straightjacketed, doped, or both. But frequently Flip had managed to catch, in passing, the eye of the girl in the next cell. They would nod at each other.
Stay strong, Flip liked to think it meant. Hold out, dear girl. Hold out, and when I’m free, I’ll come for you, my friend, in turn. Today, be strong.
At night, they’d kick the walls to communicate. Even though neither girl knew Morse code, they managed to invent crude signals: one tap for a greeting, two to return it. And if neither knew what the other was saying, it was enough just to know that someone was there. Sometimes they drummed on the wall, making discordant music until the guards yelled at them to stop.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: ASIN B01C5J79G6
Kayla Bashe Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Screaming Down Splitsville by Kayla Bashe. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.