Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review: Muted by Jessica Bell

Title: Muted: a short story in verse
Author: Jessica Bell
Publisher: Vine Leaves Press (May 25, 2013)
Genre: Dystopian/Poetry

Format Read: Ebook
Length: Short Story
Source: Purchased

Note: This cyberpunk/dystopian short story is an experimental work of fiction written in verse. Page count: 30. Word count: 2000.

It's illegal to wear clothes. In some streets, it's also illegal to sing. Concetta, a famous Italian a capella singer from before "the change," breaks these laws. As punishment, her vocal chords are brutally slashed, and her eardrums surgically perforated. Unable to cope living a life without song, she resolves to drown herself in the river, clothed in a dress stained with performance memories. But Concetta's suicide attempt is deterred, when she is distracted by a busking harpist with gold eyes and teeth. Will he show her how to sing again, or will the LEO on the prowl for another offender to detain, arrest her before she has the chance?

A tender piccolo
before strings built
into a
Boom. [33% Ebook. Just a tease of the brilliant imagery in this story.]

Review: Jessica Bell’s Muted knocks the air out of the reader’s lungs and leaves her drowning in Concetta’s dystopian world.

I don’t read much poetry or stories in verse, but I may have to start. Bell holds back no punches in this dystopian world she’s created. Singing and wearing clothes is illegal. A queen—a man by the way—reigns while people suffer against the government’s laws. Concetta’s punishment is so cruel. My heart broke for her as she has become deaf and mute for the mere act of singing. Her interaction with the harpist is sensual and hopeful in a world gone mad.

The poetic verses increase the tension and often read like a story. I loved the alliterative phrases as well as the pacing—sometimes melodic, sometimes harsh and with a drumming rhythm forever marching onward.

A brilliant and unique dystopian story, Muted by Jessica Bell’s Muted left me in awe.

Five Bookworms = I loved it!