What I gleaned about the stories: Cars in horror stories might explode if lightly bumped.
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Note: This is a short story collection, so the rules are slightly different from standard Immerse or Die: instead of reading on every time I lose immersion, I stop reading that story and move onto the next one. As usual, I stop reading after the third WTF.
Analysis: The subtitle for the collection is A collection of horror stories, flash and short
My instinctive parsing was as a straight list, so when the sentence ended at short my first thought was “Flash and short what?” Almost immediately I wondered whether the author meant flash and short horror stories but had put the modifier after the noun phrase.
As a stylistic element in an homage to old-fashioned ghost stories, putting the modifiers last might not trip me; however, combined with a cover image that looked decidedly 20th Century and no other context to prime my mind it felt muddled so I scored a WTF.
Analysis: The second paragraph of The Horror Pack (which with hindsight I believe to be an introduction) starts with Gaze upon the everlasting darkness, be in awe of the multitudes of undead who chase the living on an awkward footing. Be invested in that specific character only to watch them die a horrible death.
My unconscious muttered at the comma splice in the first sentence; but also suggested I might have mis-seen a semi-colon so I gave the benefit of the doubt. However, discovering the next instruction was a separate sentence broke the established pattern whether it was a comma-splice or semi-colon so my trust that the prose structure would be accessible took another blow.
Catching sight of a comma splice with an erroneous capital letter out of the corner of my eye, I moved on.
Analysis: Partway through the first paragraph of the first story I hit: The actions that brought about his death began when a red 2010 Chevy Silverado dangerously jumped right in front of Deangelo’s vehicle. It nearly caused him to slam into the back of the truck, that would have created a deadly chain reaction continuing way past the plus mile line of sardine packed automobiles.
Instead of dramatic irony ramping the tension and the near-miss adding to the sense of a world filled with danger, this felt flat. Pausing, I noticed many of the words didn’t add to the image, so merely slowed my pace; which consequently reduced the tension. So I pulled the plug.
Rereading the quote, I realised that cars packed as tight as sardines wouldn’t have had space to turn into a chain reaction of death either.
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