Dear Meat (Emerge #7) by J. Snow
Do not read this in the dark, or alone, or on a full stomach!
I hated this story so much because it compelled me to read the whole thing in one sitting. No coffee, no cookies, no beer, no peanuts, just me and this damn story that gripped me from beginning, through the at times stomach churning middle and the equally plausible , thoughtful and also stomach churning finale. Thanks a lot J. Snow, for such a brilliant take on a horrifyingly credible possibility that awaits us. Yes, that's how real this story could be. To the author, J. Snow, I'm happy this wasn't a full length novel, or I'd have starved. Yet then again, maybe you've supplied the solution to that. Amazing story, can't wait for more. Yes, I'm hungry now.
Terror is the name of the game in Dear Meat. Not many authors can execute horror and suspense in short story form the way J Snow has. From the beginning of the story, we race through a frozen landscape with Ashlyn toward an unknown sanctuary and salvation while trying to evade a pursuer shrouded in mystery. After this heart pounding journey we take with this character, it seems we become flies on the wall to a conglomerate of men coldly deciding the fate of all of humanity in a death ravaged society. Even then we are not spared the horror coursing through our veins and goosebumps rising over our skin at the words being spoken by this group of vultures. The themes of this story brought to mind old dystopian movies that are a couple of my favorites, Logan’s Run and Soylent Green. Both movies along with this new spin on dystopian thrillers bear a timely and grim message about what the world could become should we remain ignorant to all that is going on around us. Perhaps, in the event, we don’t change our wasteful ways to help save the depleting resources here on Earth we might witness the ends that those in power would go to preserve the wealth and comforts they enjoy. The setting of each storyline within this piece is a stark contrast to each other. While in both instances they are feeling a sense of emergency and desperation for their own plights – they are separated by circumstance, power, and status. Driving home a point that humanity is doomed no matter what side of the fence you fall on, you are either forced to be morally corrupt or morally bankrupt. The characters Brady and Ashlyn are your run of the mill everyday citizens who are struggling in a society where death is a constant. I felt for Ashlyn and Brady, for the decisions they had to make to survive in such a cruel climate. As the story went on, my want to see how their plight ends grew to need as I empathized with them the most. Along with these two characters, a boardroom of men, that I can say embodies everything powerful and government, greed and ambition, and cruel and gluttonous. Where I felt empathy and sympathized with Ashlyn and Brady, I was immediately tossed into hate and disdain for the group of men in their yellow ties sitting high and mighty above everyone else. J Snow did an absolutely awesome job of distinguishing between the characters in such a way that the division was felt throughout the reading. To be honest, I loved everything about this story and there were very few things about it that I didn’t like but still, they are dislikes. While reading I felt that this story might swing in a totally different direction. That might have just been me being hopeful that justice would be served up hot on a platter for a certain group of people. I would have loved to see how that would have played out and whether that would have altered the outcome of the story. I remain hopeful that a sequel will be penned and I, the reader, will have justice. Lastly, the writing was superb. It was everything tragic and visceral, taut and full of suspense so much so that I couldn’t stop reading. The piece wasn’t weighed down with grandiose verbiage until it was called for. The boardroom scenes stuck out because of this as it was used to show the cold hearted nature of the men in the story. Her words played out like scenes from a blockbuster movie, however, jarring in transition as I believe it was meant to be for the reader to be unsettled throughout the writing. Overall, this story was an awesome read… 10/10 would recommend!
Let me start by saying this is beautiful writing. The author has a clear expertise in the use of words. She avoids repetition and cliches that can easily befall a less gifted talent. Every word is a stroke from a brush, revealing a painting that is repellent to view but is so beautifully rendered you wait breathlessly for the next stroke. The story itself makes me think of a magnified version of the last six years. I am not referring to Donald Trump here but to us. I can’t tell you how many friendships I saw break apart between 2016 and 2020. People who grew up together, people who served together in combat. We are hunting our loved ones in a misplaced loyalty and this story shows us at our potential worst. Please read this.
Captivating Read in One Sitting
Dear Meat captivates your attention immediately and is especially eery/horrifying given the current state of affairs. J Snow does an amazing job tying together different perspectives of a dystopian world and the horrifying choices survival requires. She clearly has a knack for psychological horror and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
It’s what’s for dinner
Extremely well thought out and vividly written.