Review: Animals of the Exodus by Alexander Zelenyj

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Alexander Zelenyj's Animals of the Exodus was published by Eibonvale Press in August 2019.

Alexander Zelenyj
Alexander Zelenyj

Alexander Zelenyj is the author of the books Songs For The Lost, Experiments At 3 Billion A.M., Ballads To The Burning Twins: The Complete Song Lyrics Of The Deathray Bradburys, and Black Sunshine. His fiction has been published in magazines and anthologies throughout the world.

Zelenyj lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada with his wife, Elizabeth.

Click here to visit author official website.

Animals of the Exodus (Eibonvale Chapbook Line #12) by Alexander Zelenyj
Animals of the Exodus
Eibonvale Chapbook Line #12
by Alexander Zelenyj
  • This was the secret Paradise hidden amid the world’s great weights.
  • A door was opening.
  • “Karen: I will see you again.”
  • Together, they would reach a new place.

A 70-page festival for the world-broken. Because there are paths.

Dark and surreal, these four interlinked stories examine the places of refuge sought out by damaged individuals.

Contents:

Taking Karen Away
Celeste Had to Go Away
Some Saw the Fire Exodus
The Mayflies Want to Fly

REVIEW: ANIMALS OF THE EXODUS BY ALEXANDER ZELENYJ

Alexander Zelenyj's Animals of the Exodus is the 12th chapbook in the Eibonvale Chapbook Line.

Alexander Zelenyj is an author whose fiction has made a huge impression on me. I've placed him permanently on my must-read list, because his fiction is beautiful and thought-provoking, not to mention dark, compelling and unsettling. I can honestly say that he is one of the best and most talented authors I've ever come across. This chapbook showcases his writing skills in an excellent way.

Animals of the Exodus is a stunning piece of literary speculative fiction. I was impressed by what I read, because the author writes beautiful and elegant prose and the four interconnecting stories feature captivating darkness and immersive storytelling.

This chapbook contains the following four stories:

- Taking Karen Away
- Celeste Had to Go Away
- Some Saw the Fire Exodus
- The Mayflies Want to Fly

In these four stories, elements of hope, comfort, suffering and trauma are entwined in a strangely beautiful and refreshingly original way. The author combines darkness, surrealism and mundane elements with an expert's touch and takes elements from fantasy, science fiction, horror and weird fiction to create something different.

The sentence "Because there are paths.", which is mentioned in the synopsis is relevant and revealing, because there indeed are paths that can be found and taken when seeking refuge and escape from despair. In this chapbook, the characters are seeking refuge and a way to be happy, because they have known despair and suffering in their lives. They're broken and damaged individuals who need something to hold on to.

"Taking Karen Away" tells of a couple who have found a way to access a secret Paradise. Together, they're committing a shocking act in order to feel happy.

"Celeste Had to Go Away" tells of Celeste who has faced a terrible nightmare and has suffered greatly. Celeste attends a concert held by a mysterious rock band called the Deathray Bradburys who make an appearance in a remote Ontario town.

In "Some Saw the Fire Exodus", Alec witnesses how a group of people, including his sister, are ready to travel to another place.

"The Mayflies Want to Fly" tells of a teenage boy and a woman, his teacher, who travel together to a new place. The boy thinks of his teacher as a Goddess.

It was fascinating to read again about The Deathray Bradburys, which is a cult punk rock group whose quest is to fulfill a cosmic destiny of finding those who have suffered severe trauma and taking them to a distant Paradise in the stars. The author's approach to this band and their purpose is simply brilliant.

One of the most fascinating things about this chapbook is the author's original approach to cosmic strangeness and modern weird fiction. I like what he writes about the twin stars of Sirius and how people are seeking a way to reach a cosmic Paradise, because his prose has a strong emotional impact on the reader. I find his way of writing about strange happenings refreshingly different and intriguing.

Although this is a relatively short chapbook, it offers readers such an incredibly deep and devastating view of a broken world that you'll be left utterly captivated and emotionally shaken by what you've just read. It's amazing that in the span of 70 pages, the author achieves more in terms of depth and storytelling than many authors in a full-length book.

Very highly recommended!