Short Story Review- The Boy Who Could by T.K Vander

Nathaniel Tees was rather impatient as he waited for the signal alarm to ring. Every evening, when it became totally dark outside, a bell would make a distinguished clear note accompanied by the sound of a gush of air. This was the only cue that no light from the sun was left streaking in the sky outside, and it was safe to traverse out, as no windows were available to see through. Nathaniel glanced up at the only clock in his room. A great masterpiece of a device, the clock had no face, with the gears turning and grinding every second. As large as his head, the digits were comprised of separate turning gears, with even smaller gears on the inside, turning the opposite direction with numbers engraved in the middle. Suddenly the clock ceased function altogether, and not a second later, the clean sharp whistle of the alarm sounded along with the familiar woosh of a large amount of air being suctioned inward.

Okay, let’s start with the positives of this story. Um, the cover. It’s very nice, with all its majestic blues and attention to detail. I only wish that same could be said for the writing, as The Boy Who Could is littered with so many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that I don’t think that the story had even been proofread, let alone edited. I’m not a grammar Nazi and I’m not going trash a story for letting the odd typo slip through, but this reached such a level that it actually pulled me out of the story. It’s only a few pages as well, so it’s baffling why Vander couldn’t find a friend of his to give it a quick look over.

There’s a reason why the blurb only contains a description of the unnecessarily elaborate clock instead of a plot summary; the story can be summarised as ‘a ginger goes into the sun and doesn’t end up  sunburned.’ Seriously. The story’s very, very short and half of that is exposition to lead up to a plot twist that wasn’t particularly interesting and raised so many questions (which I won’t go into to avoid taking this review deeper into spoiler territory).

With a lacklustre story and a baffling lack of care in its presentation, I can think of no reason why anyone should read this story. I wouldn’t say the writer is devoid of creativity and perhaps he could improve, but if Vander wants to continue writing, he really needs to start taking his presentation more seriously.


RATING: Not fit to be published.

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