DiscoverShort Story

D09 Afterlife


Worth reading 😎

3 out of 5 stars for an artsy investigation of the eternal soul that leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions.

In 'D09 Afterlife' the author 'Ethan Vonday' presents a collection of short stories which, though mutually unrelated, share a common premise: the implications of an ever living soul. What would it mean if we can live on after our mortal bodies fail? What would it mean if we can't? Is infinity something we would enjoy or would we begin to resent those we've left behind in the living world? Would our soul linger on witnessing the lives of others and yearning for re-incarnation or joyously leap forth from the shackles of our mortal form to embrace eternity?

Though dealing with the reality of death is never going to be particularly up-beat or inspiring, at least this book's quirky and artsy approach avoids getting morbid, fatalistic or preachy.

Though a surprisingly enjoyable read, considering the subject matter, there were certain aspects that left me feeling disappointed:

1. As a self styled poet the author introduces each story with original stanzas of poetry. These and the, in places, repeated ryhmes and song lyrics work well as palate cleanser or backlighting to the stories themselves. Despite this, I found the story prose itself clunky and unpolished with unimaginative vocabulary and stuttering flow. In fact, the writer is most eloquent in the Author's notes provided at the very back of the book which explain the motivation, origins and history of this work. I would have certainly enjoyed the stories more if the same easy style and attention to detail had been evident throughout the book.

2. Rather than provoking the reader to ask questions, in several places, the text simply attempts to confuse. Add to this the lack of a common narrative thread through the pieces and it did leave me feeling mildly frustrated and annoyed at times. Some re-occuring character or place might have tied them together better.

3. Though the illustrator is clearly talented and competent, I felt the drawings that welcomed each story were rather too literal and added no real value to the central message.

Instead of forcing an agenda or moral position, each story presents a scenario from a largely balanced viewpoint. I suspect that each reader will eventually draw their own unique set of conclusions about the truth of the human condition. As such, this book is probably best read in a group or class environment where philosophical minds can continue and extend the discussion off the page.

Reviewed by

When not reading and reviewing books, I help indie authors on mutual critique platforms to improve their work. As an indie author myself, I blend my experiences in advanced engineering and international sales to create fascinating BronzePunk worlds full of complex characters. Tips & gifts welcome.

D09: Afterlife

About the author

Ethan Vonday is an American fiction writer with the purpose to inspire social change by proving “Everyone Matters”. Vonday is the author of Lifeline: A Journey Through Verses including the award-winning verse “Born to Fly High”. view profile

Published on May 28, 2021

50000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Short Story

Reviewed by