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  • By Julie Dawson
    May 23, 2006
    David Hoffman’s short story and poetry collection Draco Spritus is one of those wonderful books that annoyed me. Wonderful, in that the tales are thoughtful, well-written, and offer an original spin on many standbys of speculative literature. From dragon wars to alien invasions, the collection touches upon a wide variety of speculative plots with originality and style. Annoying, in that many of the stories feel like the trailer for a really good movie, and I find myself searching for the full length product they should be. In Draco Orbus, the young dragon Da’al learns the terrible reason why the dragons of the north have been able to all but destroy his kind, the dragons of the south. But instead of succumbing to the defeatism of his kin, he discovers the will to seek out a way to beat the northern dragons at their own game. The plot and storyline of this story are pure fantasy at it’s best: simple yet symbolic on many levels. In anything annoyed me about the story, it is that it was... More > only a short story. The concept is bigger than a few pages, and would possibly have been better served as a novella. It was an annoyance like when I watched the anime Blood: The Last Vampire, enjoying every moment until I got to the end and wondered where the rest of the story was. This pattern of quality but stunted stories continues with Hellfire, a futuristic tale of humanity’s struggle against extraplanar beings seeking to take over the earth after a cataclysm. Again, it is a strong plot with a lot of room to grow. But the author never takes advantage of that, instead keeping the story to short fiction length instead of expanding it to fully allow the tale to unfold. Of particular nuisance, the one pivotal battle that should have been described is not. We only learn of it after the fact. I realize the author’s reason for this was to build suspense, but the suspense falls flat in part because the actually story never had the opportunity to completely evolve. Make no mistake, the stories are well worth reading. You may feel the need to shake the author when done and tell him to go finish them, but they are well worth reading. Hoffman does a fine job creating a sense of place with each story, and his careful word choice allows him to avoid the mistake of many writers in the genre who ramble on too much trying to explain something.< Less
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Product Details

Publisher
David W. Hoffman
Published
July 24, 2006
Language
English
Pages
100
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.44 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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