Reviews - The Sea Crystal and Other Weird Tales
"Once I started reading these stories, I could not put my Kindle down. Short stories are always good, because you can read one and pick up again with a brand new story. However, once you start reading anything written by Ms. Berliner, you had better clear your calendar. Her characters are haunting, memorable, and real.
"It takes a special talent to be able to create a scene in a few pages, from beginning to end, and this is where the author excels. As soon as the story begins, you are thrust into a little microcosm where things look ordinary...mundane even. But then...plants start talking, or someone disappears, or someone who is there turns out that they were never even there in the first place!
"One of the stories in particular, DOREEN"S WEDDING, left me with a queer little ache in my heart. Entirely plausible, simply done, and utterly gripping, I challenge anyone to read that and not be moved.
"Berliner is a talented weaver of stories and I guarantee you will love this book."
M. Nail, Gimmethatbook
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"One of the best things about short stories is how easy they are to get immersed in. You can start from any part of the book, and there's just as much to enjoy. It does, however, take a particular talent to be able to write really vivid story in such a short amount of pages. There is a limited amount of time to build a setting, characters, and just enough tension for a twist. Susan Berliner easily shows that she has the ability to do just that. Her stories in this book vary in tone and content, but they're all rather solidly written and a ton of fun to read! This is a great way to spend a few hours.
"I have to say, although I'm partial to the ones that are a bit on the scarier side, every story in this book has its own distinct brand of whimsy or terror. From chilling mirror images, to fairy tale lives, to a world of dark dreams that comes to life, there is so much to explore in Berliner's world. There was a little taste of each kind of story, which really showcased the author's writing ability. The fact that each story, despite the topic, was just as solidly written was really impressive.
"In fact, it was wholly impressive that all of the characters were so well written. Despite the short amount of time I had to get to know each of them, I really did feel like I knew just who they were. It was a lot of fun to try to figure out where the twist in each of these stories would be. Honestly, most of the time I was completely wrong about where I thought they were going. Which, of course, made it that much more fun! It's always fantastic to be a little blindsided, especially when the story ends with a moment that makes your jaw drop a bit.
"If you're looking for a short story compilation with a little bit of everything, this is one that you need to add to your reading list."
J. Nottingham, Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
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"I really enjoyed this collection of readable and imaginative short tales by a new author to me. Most were reminiscent of old episodes of the Twilight Zone, and I could see them on the screen as I read. Highly recommended."
L. Hall, Canada
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"The characters felt real, and the plot/story lines were very engaging. 'Doreen's Wedding' was my favorite, kept me thinking about that story for days. The Sea Crystal will have you thinking: What's next? And trust me, you think you know, but you don't! Lots of twists and unexpected turns. I recommend The Sea Crystal. It's a great read for all ages."
T. Mitchell, Brooklyn, NY
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"Loved this book...All the stories held my interest from start to finish. They were all different and unique! I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in supernatural and unusual tales."
R. Munroe, North Haven, CT
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"I really enjoyed this book...Each story was unique, and with a surprise ending. For me, it was a brief vacation from reality. I highly recommend."
S. Zajicek, Cortlandt, NY
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"Something out of the ordinary. Great reading...My personal favorites were 'The Factory,' 'Jeremy's Toys,' and 'Everything $50!'...These short stories are well written and engrossing. You will not put the book down once you start reading."
M. Weinstock, San Clemente, CA