Warnings: PTSD, drug abuse, child labor, suicide, under-aged escorts, slavery, abuse.
Positive Representation: Old mlm couple
Rating: 3/5 stars
Found is a collection of 15 short stories from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers that focuses on the surprising consequences of finding things. Some things you should find, and some things you shouldn’t. This collection was a bit middle of the road as far as quality goes. There were some highlights, and some lows. It isn’t a terrible collection, but it is one that I would say is better picked through than read cover to cover.
The stories that really stood out in a good way had wonderful explorations of subtle horror like a girl with the power to bring back the dead with a touch, and a sister who is a little to obsessed with that power for her own good. Another focuses on an old man who has trained his dog to lure victims for him. Still another focuses on colonialism in Australia. One plays with your perceptions of the characters ages in an incredibly enticing way. And another story features a long married mlm couple looking back on how a photo of a white buck was interwoven through their lives. These stories were well written, refreshingly diverse, and lacked the predictability that would’ve distracted from their interesting qualities.
The book also contained stories on the other side of the spectrum, however. One story is a sort of Peter Pan retelling where Neverland is a child labor factory and the story is full of poorly written fight scenes and a terribly written woman. Several stories rely heavily on things such as under-aged escorts, abuse, and suicide as plot points. Many of the stories that featured these elements felt like those elements were merely a scapegoat to avoid telling better stories.
Overall, it was a decent collection of stories and I would recommend it even though I didn’t love all of it.