We are the pacesetters. The others run faster because of us.
I don’t usually do full blog posts for novellas, let alone short stories so that should tell you something about how much I loved Ring the Bell. It’s available on Amazon from October 1st, 2020, and I’m urging you to check it out. It’ll take you a few minutes to read and a life time to forget, I promise you.
Rating: 5 stars!
Thanks to Josie for sending me an eARC for this short story, it has not impacted my honest review.
Scale the mountain. Ring the bell. Buy your freedom. Or trade the prize to change the world.
Mia’s life is defined by the Surge. The race comes every five years, and she’s determined to win it. She’ll make it to the top first, ring the bell and set her family free.
But victory comes at a price. The faster she runs, the more people she’ll condemn to death in the valley below.
In Unterstrom, only the strongest survive.
What did I think?
I signed up for an eARC of this short story without even reading the premise because I love Josie Jaffrey’s work enough that I just had faith in this one. I’m so glad I decided to pick it up. This short story packs a punch hard enough that I felt a physical ache in my chest, and when I finished I just had to lay and stare at the ceiling for a few full minutes.
A dystopian story about a valley, the Unterstrom, that is struck by the Surge every 5 years. The first to reach the top of the race and ring the bell wins a reward: setting her family free of the valley altogether. But the faster she runs, the more people she condemns to death. I don’t want to get into the specifics of it too much, as I don’t want to spoil the emotional rollercoaster that I went into this with. The way this unfolds is achingly beautiful and heartbreaking. I want to read a novella based off the last few lines alone.
Ring the Bell was a quick read that’s going to stick with me for a long, long time and will definitely be due a reread at some point because the depth of meaning in these 31 pages is so good I definitely want to read it again, slower, when my heart isn’t racing with a need to find out what’s happening.
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