I'm going to let you in on a little secret - I don't really like short stories. No sooner do I get to know the character it is time to say goodbye. That is how I felt with The Ivory Tower. I was just getting to know Simone and the world she inhabits when the story ended.
Yet, at the same time I'm drawn to short stories when I need a quick escape where I get the whole story without a big time commitment. (I read a lot of short stories while writing my dissertation for this reason). And I have to say Kirstin Pulioff did a magnificent job in the 20-something pages her story comprised.
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Simone, or 277 as she is known at the camp, is an orphan. The inhabitants of this camp are there for their own protection. The world as they know it has become a dangerous place and as long as they follow the rules they will be cared for. Or so goes the party line. A precocious child that knows few boundaries and has even less parental oversight isn't so sure she wants to toe that line any more. Why should she? All it gets her is food rations - when they don't run out before getting to her spot in line - and a threadbare shirt.
So much is happening within these few pages, I have to wonder if Pulioff is planning to explore this world more. I think I'm most impressed with how complete Pulioff is with her world building. I've read series that takes the author 3 books or more to give me a clear picture of how the world works. Yet, in The Ivory Tower the reader can see how society wound up in these "protective" camps and why they remain so. But, there is still plenty of stories within this world that can be explored and I do hope she considers it.
ebook (24 pages)
Published September 2013
Read: December 2013
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