Martin Pond’s collection of short stories begins with Waiting Room. A young boy told he must face a coming-of-age test that all face yet no one talks about. No one in his school knows what this test is or why everyone has to take it but everyone knows how important it is. Martin Pond puts the reader in the waiting room with him. We sit next to him as he is ushered into a small room, all white, and waits for his test to begin. The musings of this boy combined with the dystopian atmosphere Pond creates very quickly put me in a state of suspense. I dreaded the outcome of this story but couldn’t read it fast enough.
Dream Feed, the second in the collection feeds on every parents worst nightmare. Throw in the creepy feeling of the paranormal and you wont use a baby monitor ever again.
Each story that follows is just as compelling and I enjoyed every one. My attention was captured and I appreciated each twist and turn Martin Pond took me through. I have not had a story with so few words have so huge of an impact before. Every story felt full, well rounded and complete despite their length. Pond uses words more efficiently than anyone I have ever read. I did not feel cheated when the story ended so quickly.
Each story puts its character into a dire situation and begs the question, what are you gonna do now?
Here is the summary:A teenage boy waits to take a sinister test he may or may not pass; a new father hears a strange voice on his daughter’s baby monitor; a poisoner’s best-laid plans go terribly astray; an enigmatic man gets as close to death as he can; a young boy wonders why Christmas just doesn’t feel right this year; after the year from hell, a man is driven to extreme measures; a dying man reveals a black secret to his son; and, after four years in limbo, a man’s life starts to unravel…
Martin Pond is brilliant and I cannot imagine a full length novel from him that would not blow my mind. I highly recommend Dark Steps to anyone who enjoys a twisted tale!