51RWebyS42L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Spoiler Free Summary:  In Eye of the Beholder, from Posh Bytes by C. Rose Lavender is a distraught widow trying to move on in her life. She’s set up on a blind date, but in a world where everyone has access to virtual beauty programs, it’s hard to find real love. When she meets her date, everything clicks until he asks her to see him without his program, revealing a secret that forces her to confront the idea of letting go of the love she’d already lost.

Character:  The scales on how one judges Lavender depend entirely on how readily the reader believes one could be devastated by the loss of a loved one. I, for one, found this situation to be believable. Lavender is trapped between wanting to want to move on, and not being ready to let go. This is her key conflict. She’s not very proactive, but she is sympathetic and competent. As I’ll mention in future reviews of other stories from this book, there are more compelling, more enthralling stories, but Lavender delivers a nice tale that sets up what’s honestly a fascinating anthology based on a singular world and premise.

Exposition: I think this is where there’s the most room to grow. Short stories / novellas have to move quickly, but Rose does tell a more than she shows on occasion. Her gift in other areas offset this issue, and she never dwells in exposition too long.

Worldbuilding: This is where Rose shines! This story sets a scene of a world surrounded by digital beauty and dark, tragic vanity. As each story progresses, the world grows deeper, and there are so many pleasant nuggets that connect one story to another. It gives the anthology as a whole a very Tarantino feel.  This is why Posh Bytes is currently my second-favorite book of 2018 (so far). While it’s a young year, and I have a lot of great books I’m excited to read on my TBR, I really found myself fascinated by the concept of this world and setting.

C.-Rose-276x300Dialogue:  I think this is solid. If I’m being honest, I don’t remember much. This means it wasn’t worth remembering or worth stewing over. That usually means I thought it was decent, but not amazing.

Description:  This is another strength for Rose. Her delicate use of adjectives and careful narrative paint a picture that sets the director in my imagination off. She’s better at describing things than people, but when she takes time to describe a person, that individual becomes unique and memorable.

Overall:  Eye of the Beholder is a lead-off story for what’s currently a great anthology. It’s expertly crafted speculative science fiction that does more to force the reader to think than it does to entertain. For me the distinction is in the satisfaction I get while reading the story. Most Spec. SCIFI is enough to get one to think; it’s very rare that one is forced to think without falling out of the story or feeling lectured. I’ll be reviewing each of the stories from this anthology individually as I feel that gives them the full credit they deserve.  This story wasn’t the one that hooked me, but it was the one that showed me C. Rose is an author who truly let’s the concept drive the story.

Thanks for reading


8 thoughts on “Story Review: Eye of the Beholder from Posh Bytes by C. Rose

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