Kristopher Triana’s latest release, The Detained, from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, is yet another solid novella among his bibliography. It follows five adults called back to their old high school for a 20-year-reunion, forced to face the most traumatic memory from the halcyon days of their youth.
This novella is a harrowing tale that smashes together The Breakfast Club with Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Naturally, this goes south very quickly. When these five are the only ones to arrive, they realize very quickly that something’s wrong. These characters have matured a bit, but wear adulthood like a mask over the self-destructive high school stereotypes they thought they’d left behind.
The opening is a little slow, but this is to be expected. If anything, the slowness as people awkwardly reintroduce themselves feels very natural, which serves to highlight just how different they are as the story continues.
Those who don’t mind pushing through the occasional block of information will be rewarded with a frantic, surreal ending, where the mundane setting the story opens with is soon replaced by a Jacob’s Ladder nightmare world of anguish and dismay.
The Detained moves fast and hits hard. It’s exactly the right length, providing quality description without needing to dwell on subplots and background info just to reach that ‘novel’ status. The end might be a tad predictable to some, while others might thinks it’s either too nice or too sudden, but it’s definitely the right ending for a story like this.
This story, which harbors both abuse and repentance in its heart, is especially relevant for both the younger and older crowds. Combine these universal themes with a few high school tropes we all love to hate, and there’s something for everyone. A good read I’d rate at 4/5 stars, so I recommend you head on over to Amazon and check it out for yourself.