Author: Al Riske
ISBN: 978-1-935462-32-3
Publisher: Luminis Books

Click Here To Purchase Precarious: Stories of Love, Sex, and Misunderstanding

A collection of fifteen modern short stories with various themes, including regret, loyalty, guilt, relationships, betrayal, love.  Al Riske’s talent lies in understanding human nature and creating very real and believable characters and dialogue within his entertaining stories.  I enjoyed all of the stories, although some were definitely more polished than others.
The first story 'Sleeping With Smiley' is ,in my opinion, probably the best in the collection.  A very well written story about misplaced loyalty and regret.  Some other stand-out stories were Your Eyes Only and Hold On.     

All of the stories are fun and interesting to read, the only issue I had was that many of the endings seemed too abrupt or just not satisfying.  This is a pity because with a bit of work on the endings this would have been an outstanding collection.  The writer is obviously talented because he knows how to hold a readers attention, and the prose flows well.  An example of a great ending is the end of 'Sleeping With Smiley', where the reader is left with a thought-provoking sentence which brings to mind the events of the story in a poignant manner.  

As a short story writer myself, I believe that the hardest part of writing a short story is writing a good ending. Because there are a limited amount of words in short fiction, it’s more important that an effort should be made to write an ending that will satisfy the reader and tie up any loose ends.  A bad ending can make or break a short story, in the same way that a good ending can turn a mediocre story into a great one.  Indeed, it’s much harder to write a good short story than a good novel.
In conclusion, I would say that Al Riske has done a brilliant job writing these stories, all of them containing insightful prose and true to life characters.  Most of the endings didn’t work for me, but other readers may have a different opinion.

Click Here To Purchase Precarious: Stories of Love, Sex, and Misunderstanding