Stimuli by Jane Stadermann

Stimuli by Jane Stadermann
Stimuli by Jane Stadermann
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (110 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Two boys enter the coma world of their unconscious after an accident. The world of the hospital morphs into nightmarish reality in their new dimension.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Peter, 15 and his sister, Brooke, 17.

A thrilling short novel of epic proportions.

Disclaimer: The book contains swearing as to fit in with the characters’ personalities and the dire situations they encounter. The novel also involves adult relationship themes.

Surviving in a foreign, hostile environment isn’t exactly easy.

The horror elements of this tale didn’t show up right away. Once they did, though, they made me shudder. The author’s ability to describe exactly what a scene looked, sounded, felt, and smelled like was especially noticeable when her characters were terrified. Was it gory at times? Yes, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from this book or the person who wrote it. Ms. Stadermann’s writing style is perfectly suited for this sort of thing, and the plot demanded exactly what she came up with.

It would have been helpful to have more information about how the alternate dimension worked. There were times when I was confused by the connection between what was happening there and what was happening in our world because of the order in which some events were described. It was never quite clear to me if both worlds could have an equal effect on each other or if only one of them had that ability. The plot wavered between both possibilities. I would have really liked to know for sure which theory was correct as it would have made it easier to understand certain scenes.

The pacing was strong. I appreciated the fact that the narrator only spent a limited amount of time describing what Peter and Cory’s lives were like before they were injured. It made their transition to the strange world they ended up in even more jarring that it would have been otherwise, and this worked well with the tone of the story overall. Feeling confused at first about what was happening only made me empathize more with how these characters must have felt.

I’d recommend Stimuli to anyone who has ever had trouble telling the difference between a vivid dream and being awake.

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