What I gleaned about the stories: Something about amnesia, but I can’t recall what.
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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 book is formatted with fixed line-breaks which were narrower than the book displayed on my ereader. Because a sentence usually only ends in the middle of the page when it is the last in the paragraph, this meant that—for an instant—my mind tried to parse each line as a complete unit, then had to reparse when the sentence continued on the next line. I tried to push through the foreword, but a few lines later I hit a page number.
Utterly derailed, I moved on.
Analysis: A few paragraphs into the first story I encountered: This curse had been a part of her life for longer than she cared to remember. Was it 20 years? 200? Longer? She could not remember anymore.
The phrase “longer than she care to remember” made me think she was deliberately avoiding the question of how long it had been, which fitted with speculation on whether it was twenty years. However, it potentially being two hundred years (or more) only fitted with actual forgetting rather than not choosing to remember; so my image of what was going on crashed down.
While I was curious about the curse, the collapsing description of it had damaged my faith that I’d get the clues I needed, so I moved on.
Analysis: The third story opens in second person PoV, and didn’t really grab me. A few paragraphs in, I realised why: nothing about the story was intriguing enough that I was desperate to know more, and nothing about the narrator’s description of me seemed to match. Had I been engaged enough by the plot, the misalignment between the protagonist and myself might not have bothered me; however, without that deep-sunk hook, I kept having instants of “that doesn’t sound like me”, which gave the story that odd feeling you get when a stranger mistakes you for someone else and suddenly launches into the middle of a conversation.
After a moment of pondering how to make the narration generic enough to avoid the issue, I pulled the plug.
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