I received a copy of this short story in exchange for an honest review, this in no way impacted my opinion of The Cleansing, all thoughts reflected below are mine and honest.
Anton Eine’s ‘The Cleansing’ is a short story about an alien race on a mission to destroy an unknown planet. It is difficult to discuss the characters involved in this text as it is entirely dialogue and doesn’t contain any dialogue tags. The characters themselves are addressed by their occupation, Commander being the main character.
The Commander is the decision maker on board, expressing opinions and potential resolutions for issues brought up by the Analyst and the Navigator. The mission of this ship is to cleanse all life. We enter their mission as they are scanning a planet and deciding how to cleanse it. Despite this being a short story Eine has managed to give each of his characters unique voices and concerns, I was fascinated by their way of thinking and the information they divulged throughout the text.
Eine has made an interesting decision in his writing style by experimenting with conversation. He has managed to create a realistic dialogue that manages to feed the reader bits of information without it seeming like a history lesson. There are elements of mystery and parallels that the reader can piece together as they progress through the story. The author manages to touch on themes like the importance of learning from history, there are also religious sentiments within the story and a unique perspective on the way that individuals store information.
I really enjoyed reading this short story, it was interesting to look at a planet and its history through another race’s eyes. I think this book is an excellent social commentary. The Cleansing is worth a read as it celebrates history and stories while presenting a warning about self-destructive nature. It was easy to read, despite the lack of dialogue tags and I appreciate the experimentation with this style of writing.
While I cannot imagine a story in this style working for a full novel, it was perfect for this delightful piece of literature. It provides an enjoyable reading experience and a valuable lesson to writers that sometimes the rules of writing need to be bent. The storytelling was strong and, I found myself wishing it was a little longer, I would’ve enjoyed learning more about the alien race and why they were on a mission to cleanse other planets. This information, however, would’ve bogged down the book with too many details making it more difficult to read. I would be interested in reading a collection of short stories following these characters! Eine is a creative rule breaker whose work I will be following in the future.
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