Over at Daily Science Fiction "Requiem Duet, Concerto for Flute and Voodoo" by Eugie Foster can now be read. Daily Science Fiction sends a free story to your inbox every day. A week after that the story is available on the website. So, I have waited until now to review "Requiem Duet...."
Let me first say that I usually don't go for teen angst/coming of age type stories. However, this one is so well-written and the concept so intriguing that I have to recommend it whole-heartedly. The reason I initially had my reservations is because the narrator, Zoë, is first seen being accosted by the mean girls at school. Groan, right? However, this sets up all the events to follow when she is rescued by a mysterious Cajun named Maurin and finds that her dead father's flute has been broken in the scuffle. Throw that together with disembodied voices, Voodoo and cemeteries and the story quickly picks up speed, keeping the pages turning (or screen scrolling, as it were). Maurin's Creole-peppered dialogue is handled well and Foster puts in just enough for authenticity without leaving the reader scratching his head. Besides being a well-written and intriguing story, Foster's skill as a writer draws the reader in to the emotional worlds of the characters. In short fiction it is often difficult for readers to have enough invested in the characters to care about them but Foster accomplishes this flawlessly.
So, there is an obvious lesson in this: read on. If you don't like the setup, read it anyway. All stories have the potential to surprise and delight. The characters are well-developed (I, for one, would love to read more about Maurin's back story), the idea is unique and the writing superb. Read on.