No Way Out and Other Scary Short Stories by M. J. Ware has three short stories. In total, the stories occupy 36% of the eBook. Then there is an extended preview containing five chapters of the following book. This kind of structure or baiting annoys me a lot. I don’t read samples, previews, or the first few chapters of authors’ subsequent novels. I have noted recently on Amazon pages that there is a notice of what the download contains. If the download is a prequel, a short story, or a set of sample chapters, the Amazon description note explains what the reader will get. I appreciate this recent development.
No Way Out ***** Two boys challenge each other to explore a deserted house. The scary atmosphere is enhanced by the time of year, Halloween. Chris went first and fell into a room or container he could not escape from. Mike searched and found Chris but fell into the same trap. After a week, the boys had no food or water left. There were no prospects of rescue. Who said black cats were unlucky?
The Price of Friendship ***** This is the best story of the collection because of its premise. Joey and Nick loved baseball cards. They met a street vendor who had cards the boys desired greatly. The man would sell them the cards but not for money. The vendor would only trade for a few hours of memories the boys considered unimportant. The author did a good job of explaining the possible consequences of the trades.
Hobgoblin Horror ***** Jake and Alex meet Mr. Fitch in a senior citizen home as part of a community action program to cheer senior citizens while giving young people an appreciation of the contributions made by the life experiences of their elders. During one visit, Mr. Fitch tells them of the hobgoblins. If one is seen, the hobgoblin will pursue those who have seen “it” forever. The hobgoblin thinks it is a game to lure people into a trap where they will see the hobgoblin; the tiny monster will then kill the observer. Mr. Fitch has seen a hobgoblin in his youth, has survived, but is still on the outlook for an ambush. Now it is the boys’ turn. If they believe.
The three stories in the collection are good. I gave this title three Amazon stars because of the objection mentioned above about the structure of the offered download. This eBook was a free download on Amazon, so the only thing I wasted was my time. If I had paid for this, I would have requested a refund. I will not read anything further by M. J. Ware