Saturday, January 29, 2011

Short Story Review: "Nothingness" by Draven Ames

Over the last few months, friend and fellow writer Draven Ames has made an impressive entrance into the online writing community. Through his philosophical blogs, successful short stories, and appreciation of fine literature, Draven has landed a name for himself as an up-and-coming author of horror not to be taken lightly. SNM Horror Magazine recently awarded Draven’s short story Nothingness the first place title in their January Story of the Month contest.

Before proceeding, please know this is the first review I am posting on my blog and by no means have any idea what I’m doing. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and admit that such a task is by no means a strength. However, I was honored when Draven presented me with this request, and since he was kind enough to pretend my opinion actually mattered, I’m putting my best foot forward and trying to do his story justice.

From the first sentence, Draven’s words establish the eerie tone carried throughout the narrative. Readers are introduced to John and Jennifer, a mysterious married couple cleaning out the mansion of John’s deceased father. When Jennifer discovers a disturbing story secured inside an old shoebox, Draven sucks readers into the dark, suspenseful plot he has flawlessly created.

The story spirals rapidly as each new segment presents twists and turns the reader doesn’t expect. Baked inside the layers, one will discover a series of philosophical prompts left open for interpretation. Aside from being a gifted storyteller, Draven has a knack for laying the foundation for meaningful discussion. His recurrent use of symbolism allows readers to take a captivating tale and relate it to controversial elements in contemporary society. Whether we all walk away with the same message, Draven has embedded the framework for a meaningful analysis that prompts higher order thinking while viewing issues from multiple perspectives.

Draven Ames has trademarked a style that is truly his own. His sharp, concise writing reveals a voice we have not heard before. Through his consistent use of vivid imagery and sensory details, Draven allows Nothingness to be read as though one is playing a movie inside his or her head. Line by line, we are able to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the situations experienced by his characters as though we ourselves are a bystander in the story.

Nothingness is a fast paced tale that captivates readers forcing us to crave solutions. The conclusion is one I found simultaneously satisfying yet unsettling – and I loved that. As far as I’m concerned, the mark of a talented author lies in his ability to force my brain to dwell on the story long after reading the final word. Draven has accomplished this and so much more in his piece, and I look forward to seeing what the future has to offer this talented individual and exceptional friend.

Draven is a rising talent worth getting to know.  You can follow him on Twitter, visit his blog, or friend him on Facebook.


  1. This is one of the best reviews I have ever seen for a writer. Paul, if you don't stay in writing, go in public relations.

    Now, I've read some of your stories on other writers. I can say that you always come across as having your very own opinion. It is never forced or contrived - which is why I asked you for this.

    This will be on the top of my Web-Ring, attached to my queries. Thank you so much for this Paul.

    When do I get to read a story of yours? Even as a beta read?

    But now for the real question: What part didn't you like?

    Draven Ames

  2. As a side note: I've said a number of times Paul, I'm very impressed by how you carry yourself. You're a smart person. When I told you why I'm not querying many agents, it applies to you as well. Remember that.

  3. Great introduction! I just became a new follower of Draven's. Love to meet fellow writers/bleeps.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Thanks PK. Thanks for following and I hope you read the story sometime. It comes down on the 1st and will be available in book or audio form soon. Cool stuff. It will be nice if this type of stuff someday pays.

  5. He even has the perfect name for a horror writer.

    Which makes me think I need a catchier name. Hey, it worked for Lemony Snicket.

    Congrats on the story, Draven.

    And, Paul, thanks for the reminder on Holocaust Memorial Day. I watched The Pianist that night as my own little tribute.

  6. Draven - I'm glad you like it; that is the most important part as far as I'm concerned. I promise; as soon as I have something worth reading, I'll send it your way. And as always, your kind words mean much to me.

    PK - Thanks for reading the review. I'm glad you have been introduced to Draven. Great conversations take place on his blog.

    Bryan - He does have the perfect name, doesn't he? I always thought that as well; it was one of my first observations when our paths crossed. And I'm glad you cared enough to have your own tribute. One simple statement just said wonders about who you are, Mr. Russell. Thanks for stopping in.

  7. Paul, I'm going to be completely honest here. If you are going to post a review for an author with a dreamy picture like this, always make sure your reviews are this good.

    I think you've done a fantastic job. I want books to excite all my senses, so this really speaks to me. This sounds like a great read, so I'll be adding it to my list, and most likely bumping it up past some others.

    Also, now following Draven on Twitter.

  8. Byran - Why thank you. Your name is just fine though. I got the whole 'craven Draven' locked down though.

    Christine - No kidding, Paul makes people blush and hide. I hope your able to check it out. Tomorrow is the last day it will be made available to the public.

    Glad to meed you on Twitter Christine! What is you Twitter name (ChristineMarie?)

  9. Something led me over here as late into the next month it is....Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the read. A really wonderful review Paul! And some amazing energies flying around here... I'll check out the story.


Feeling kind? Leave me some love.
(Sorry to bring back the word verification. Just couldn't take the spam anymore.)