Story Review: Songs Sweeter Still by David M. Hoenig from Alien Days Anthology

Story Review: Songs Sweeter Still by David M. Hoenig from Alien Days Anthology

 

 

AlienDaysCover
Cover image taken from the book’s Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Spoiler Free Summary:  Songs Sweeter Still by David M. Hoenig is the nineteenth story in the Alien Days Anthology. Fim is an alien creature the humans thought was incapable of higher thinking. When a strange voice from her planet calls on her, everything begins to change. Will the humans continue to ravage Fim’s planet for resources, or will Fim become something more than anyone had ever expected.

Character:  I liked Fim. She’s not competent, but she’s sympathetic and proactive, and that combination of traits is my favorite. This story had solid character development and foreshadowing. Everything plays of Fim as she grows and learns. The author did a nice job of making me want to know more about her and what would happen next. 

Exposition: This story is formatted a little more like I’m used to. It jumped from character to character, staying in that being’s life and mind for the duration of the scene. That allowed the author to provide details without revealing too much. Nothing in the story dragged or made the story seem boring.  

Worldbuilding: The world building is ok, but I wish I had more. I will say I got what I needed, but this story would have been far more impressive with a thousand or so more descriptions or details about how this planet works and what resource the humans are after (Fim only calls them rocks).  More attention to the culture and atmosphere of the planet would have elevated this story a lot.

Dialogue: The dialogue in this story worked. It wasn’t overly impressive, but it wasn’t wooden or even poorly-veiled  exposition.

Description: I probably could have used a bit more here for the same reasons as I mentioned while talking about the story’s world building. I can’t begin to tell you what Fim looks like or what the “rocks” look like either. I’m glad the author didn’t go to the other extreme, but this story was a bit hard to get lost in without the descriptors that bring it to life. 

Overall: This story is pretty good. No, it didn’t make my top three for the anthology, but that was because of an incomplete ending and lack of description. Plot wise, this story may have been the best concept out of the 20 stories in the anthology. The interesting premise and compelling character definitely make it worth the time to read it. 

Thanks for reading

Matt