Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Son of Liberty: review and lesson learned by me

I was pulled in by the premise of this novelette: A young boy's fight for freedom in a post-apocalyptic world. Fraley's writing immediately immersed me in 17 year-old Alex's fears and dire circumstances. Corrupt leaders and spiraling moral conscience of the country--reminiscent of current real-day life--had led to civil war. Biological and nuclear warfare had left the country in shambles. Alex becomes involved in a group of patriots who's mantra includes helping the down-trodden. I loved the connection Alex makes to the actual Sons of Liberty that existed during the revolutionary War.

My only disappointment with the novelette was it's seemingly abrupt end--I wasn't ready for it to be finished.  I was just feeling at home with the story, ready to hunker in for 200 more pages. At first I thought a sequel must be just around the corner and this novelette was just a clever marketing tool to introduce a series. When I asked the author Daron Fraley about it, he responded, "You must not read many short stories do you?" He was correct--I've read zero short stories.

No wonder I was disappointed. I was expecting the same thing out of this short story as I do in a full length novel, i.e. plot development and character development, both in a nice tall arc with plenty of conflict and a satisfying resolution in the end. Daron wrote:

Short stories by nature don't have the character development, or the sub-plots, or conflict/climax, that would be present in a full length novel.

They typically have a theme, and make a particular point to the reader, but that's it. So feeling like you were hanging a bit is not unnatural.

The point of the story is:
1. Destruction of America
2. What different people do to deal with it
3. Alex's own fears, and what he does to show his true character: Specifically giving the knife to the family (charity/love), and trying to save both the flag, the lodge, and John's life (courage)
4. Most important: No matter how hard your life is, a glorious resurrection awaits all those who earn it.

If you didn't get that from the story, then that is my fault as a writer.

Well, I did get that from his story. Son of Liberty is a well crafted short story/novelette. If you are a fan of short stories and history/patriotism, I highly recommend this novelette by Daron Fraley.


  1. I'm looking forward to reading this book by Daron. The things I have read of his are great and I'm sure I will find this book just as good.

  2. Sounds wonderful!! Nice review, Carolyn. : )
    I enjoyed what Daron had to say about short stories, too!