Short Story Review: SPECTRUM, by Aidan J. Reid

30365707I received this short story from the author, through InstaFreebie, in exchange for an honest review: my thanks to both of them for this opportunity.

There are some vibes in this short story that somehow reminded me of “Flowers for Algernon”, but with a much sinister twist to it: BioLuminary is a corporation that tests new drugs and medical procedures on volunteers, and that’s nothing out of the ordinary, but their manner of finding subjects for the trials is what instantly sounds alarm bells in the reader, because they search among society’s rejects – the homeless, the drifters, the people living at the margins of society. People who will not be missed if something goes wrong.

The main character, a young woman who remains unnamed, tells the story in diary form (that’s where the Algernon resonance comes from, I believe): a drug and alcohol addict, she’s recruited off the street to test a new procedure for restoring 20/20 eyesight, with the promise of a substantial amount of money as compensation – money she already intends spending indulging her vices once she’s out.  During the course of her stay in a medical center that seems more a correctional facility than anything else, she seems to accept the strange, often alarming reactions of her fellow volunteers to the various procedures tried on them: she appears removed from it all – probably due to her wasted, mindless existence – even when her own trial shows weirdly troublesome effects.

The abrupt ending leaves several questions on the table, especially concerning BioLuminary – not so much about their purpose, which seems all too clear, but rather about who and what they really are. And the only fleeting clue is quite chilling….

My Rating:


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Posted on February 1, 2017, in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Sounds very intriguing, but the description of the story makes me think it might be too “out there” and confusing for me. I do like the idea of the story told in diary form though, I can’t resist epistolary novels 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It does sound like it has a Flowers vibe. Or, weirdly enough, Deadpool the movie. But maybe I just have a strange mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not fond of “abrupt endings” so maybe this isn’t for me. But I do love the idea of shady medical research!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a huuuuge fan of Flowers for Algernon, so that comparison alone makes me want to read this. Sounds like this is quite a successful piece of short fiction, since it seems to accomplish a lot. Chilling, indeed…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also loved Flowers for Algernon so this does make it tempting – but, I’m not overly fond of short fiction – so I have a quandary. I’ll probably dither on the fence for a little while.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It sounded awesome until “The abrupt ending” XD I usually like closure at the end, even of my short stories. (I got tired of the disturbing ending while reading literary shorts in college. Gave me the squirms every time, haha.) Thanks for the review, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Flowers for Algernon was really good, curious about this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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