Spoiler Free Summary: Within The Storm by Beth Frost is the eighteenth story in the Alien Days Anthology. A grandmother sits her children down to tell the story of when an alien came to get shelter from a storm.
Character: There wasn’t really any conflict in this story. I can say the main character is sympathetic. But without anything to struggle against, there wasn’t much pulling the story along. If you’ve ever helped someone get shelter from a storm, you know how this story goes.
Exposition: This was better than the greater majority of the stories in this anthology. Despite being told in first person, this story doesn’t slow down to explain much.
Worldbuilding: The story takes place on a farm on Earth, so there simply isn’t much world building.
Dialogue: The dialogue is conversational, but without any conflict, it felt mundane. It was like eavesdropping on the Waltons.
Description: This was the strongest aspect of the story. The description was vivid with great attention to detail without forcing the story to come to a screeching halt. The characters received an equal amount of attention as the setting. All the senses got some sort of trigger.
Overall: This story just had no conflict. There was nothing pulling the story along. There was no danger. I can understand if the author intended to have an alien encounter story that didn’t involve some sort of invasion angle, but I had no reason to read other than I had paid for the book. For me, stories need something. No, the alien didn’t need to be hostile. We didn’t even need some sort of rush to save the alien from human experiments, but I certainly needed something. Maybe a “Keep him hidden” angle. Without a conflict to drive the story, I couldn’t get into it.
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