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Prism by Roland Allnach


Reviewed by Douglas Cobb

Just like prisms reveal brilliant colors of the spectrum, so does Roland Allnach’s collection of short stories, Prism, reveal a wide spectrum of brilliantly written short fiction written by a master storyteller. The majority of the 17 short stories in Prism have been previously published in venues ranging from Rose & Thorn Journal to Bewildering Journal. Prism is like a collection of greatest hits that just keep on coming, each successive tale better than the preceding one, but all of them crafted and refined by a genius wordsmith.

This review won’t discuss every single one of the gems within the pages of Prism, as that would somewhat spoil the joy that readers of this fine collection owe to themselves to experience firsthand. However, I will mention a few of the short stories to give you a tantalizing taste of the banquet of tales that await you.

Prism by Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman

prismReviewed by Kristen Leong (Note: Kristen is one of our young adult reviewers).

Faye and Aliza Kellerman have written an intriguing novel about a trio of teenagers who have unknowingly strayed into another world. I was hooked right from the beginning and the story kept me interested with all of the new things learned along the way as the characters find out more about the new world they’re in. Kaida, Zeke, and Joy are totally human–they’re not too perfect and all of their imperfections make them all the more believable as characters. The plot moved at a good pace and there was never a point in the story where I wished it would all move faster–all of the pertinent parts are in the book and there is minimal filler which is always a plus. The ending is going to keep readers waiting for a sequel–there are some questions that need answering.

Imagine waking up upside down in a car that’s about to explode in a fiery ball of flame. Imagine waking up in another world that’s so deceptively familiar, you can barely detect the difference. Kaida Hutchenson, Zeke Anderson, and Joy Tallon come from different parts of the social caste, but the school doesn’t care about that–the three teens are thrown together for the class trip to the Carlsbad Caverns. Kaida is not looking forward to hours spent in the car with perfect jock Zeke and prodigial loner Joy. Armed with Benedryl (for both her allergies and as a sleep-aid), Kaida embarks on a car trip that will change her forever.

The trip starts out as she predicted; Zeke is boring her, Joy is quietly ignoring the other two, and Kaida is bored out of her mind. Mr. Addison isn’t helping matters, either, he’s driving at 25 miles per hour and the trip couldn’t possibly go on for a longer time. To escape the mind-numbing boredom, the three decide to sleep and hopefully, they’ll arrive at the caves when they wake up. However, a horrific accident followed by a fiery explosion changes all of this and the three are left stranded in the desert with no way of calling for help. Joy accidentally leads the three down a path in a cave they take shelter in and poof, they’re back in their own beds ten days before the class trip.

Kaida wakes up in her room and decides that it was just a terrible nightmare. She finds that the world is exactly the same. Except, where’s her Advil for her headache? And she cannot have possibly misplaced all of her Benedryl, could she? Things are not what they seem in this world and everyone’s acting stranger than usual. Kaida, Joy, and Zeke must now work together in order to find their way out of this mysterious new world that seems so like their own, but not.