Title: Creativity Brewing
Author: Kevin Barrick & Jason Schneider
Published by: Independently published
Publication date: 24th Feb. 2020
Genre: Short Stories
Enjoy a selection of flash fiction stories hand-roasted to perfection. Each story has been crafted to be your perfect pick-me-up. Whether you like light roast, medium roast, or dark roast, this collection serves it all!
A dyslexic astrophysicist is denied the chance to pilot the first lunar colony ship, only to become their only hope. A man confronts his brother, the murderer of his parents, and bad blood spills. In an exciting mini trilogy, the horrors of War is seen through the eyes of a child reading forbidden literature, then thrust into a battle for culture. In the end, he reflects through the dusty and forgotten past in order to illuminate a future for the next generation.
I was asked to review this book by author Kevin Barrick in August 2020 and have been slowly reading my way through the stories since! My thanks to Kevin Barrick for the chance to read in return for an honest review.
Cretivity Brewing is a collection of 30 Short-Stories and Flash-Fictions spanning a variety of genres. From the heart-warming to the sinister. Each of the stories offer something different to one another; some of them are focused around human characters while others feature animals in a more ‘Aesops Fable’ style of narrative.
Although this book took me a while to get through it is no reflection on the quality of the book or the stories within. Where Creativity Brewing shines is its accessibility to pick up when time is short; when the kettle is boiling or when waiting for the bath to fill. It’s a very pick-up-and-read book. The stories are all roughly five pages long so the time investment for them is minimal.
The first story in the book, Rifts and Orange Orchards, is a great hook. Its twist is intriguing and sets the tone for the rest of the book. It’s clear to see that the author likes to throw a curved ball towards convention as a lot of the short stories have a hidden agenda that is only revealed within the last few paragraphs.
One of the stories that stuck out to me was actually a series of three – the only set of run-on stories within the book – which focus around a couple of friends and their war-time based adventure. These stories spanned across several years, starting with two characters youth, their time during the war and the aftermath of the war-time events. There is a gritty, honesty to this selection of stories that was tragic and heartwarming; especially for us readers.
Some of the concepts in these stories I would have love to see developed into much longer stories. The ideas within Creativity Brewing are highly imaginative and it would be wonderful to see them grow further. I found it somewhat amazing that all of these vastly different ideas came from (mostly) one author; Kevin Barrick. While a handful came from co-author Jason Schneider, it is clear that these two authors are skilled in the flash-fiction genre.
There are a lot of stories within Creativity Brewing and of course some stories within an anthology are going to resonate more with some readers than with others, but I am hard pressed to recall a single bad story. Because these works of fiction are so short, even the ones that don’t click with a reader are over so quickly it’s not too much of a problem.
While I took my time to read Creativity Brewing as a whole I can imagine there is a lot of ‘re-read’ value in this book also and I’d very much like to revisit some of the stories again and try and understand some of them at a deeper level as some of the concepts are a bit ‘out-there’ in their ideas – not that this is a negative thing, anything that makes the reader think a bit harder is a good thing. Having said that, some of the stories like ‘The boy and the Banana Tree,’ are easy to grasp and nothing short of a joy to read.
A joyous collection of short-stories from a vast range of genres. A great book to have on the side as a quick read to fit in with the daily routine. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of flash-fiction with a bit of a twist to their plots.