Book Review: DISTINGUISHING FEATURES by Kealan Patrick Burke

If you’re already familiar with the work of Kealan Patrick Burke, then you know this—he’s great at crafting well-rounded stories that leave a lasting impact on the reader. Most of my experience with this author (thus far) has been through exploring his short fiction in novellas, collections, and anthologies. With each of those reads, I’ve found that “triple threat” combination that elevates storytelling to another level: horror, humor, and heart.

(Photo by It Came from Beyond Pulp)

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES is no exception to this standard. This story packs a punch in just a short number of pages. I was immediately pulled into the story, and carried along at a quick pace. Burke has a consistent ability to grab the reader by the feels and keep them going with moments of relatability mixed with scares and some scattered comic relief. This one has some authentic descriptions of struggles within the main character’s relationships, and I just found it to have excellent portrayal of his emotions at different moments throughout the story. There were also some flat-out chilling moments that brought unease, and the ending was certainly memorable.

Since this is chapbook, I’m extra cautious of giving too much away and ruining the details for other readers. Fans of Burke’s writing will not be disappointed by this one, as it’s the engaging storytelling style that you’ve come to expect, enhanced by the addition of artwork. Corinne Halbert’s illustrations are great, bringing the words even further to life. If you’re new to this author, this could also be a fun place to start—once you dip your toes in and get your feet wet, you’ll want to wade deeper into the expanse of his work.

Publisher: It Came from Beyond Pulp

Release Date: Mid-June 2020

2 thoughts on “Book Review: DISTINGUISHING FEATURES by Kealan Patrick Burke

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