A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Short Fiction Review: The Cat with Wings

Miss Cuddlywumps reviews an unusual cat story with a lot of promise

What should you do if you “inherit” a cat who can (a) communicate with you telepathically and (b) fly? Well, we are pretty sure this will never happen outside of fiction, but just in case, you could learn a thing or two from Alison, the main (human) character in Eve Shaclan’s story “The Cat with Wings.”

Oh, I might have forgotten to mention that the cat, Angel, is certain that his former person was murdered. So you see this is not your average flying-cat story.

What happens is this: Angel informs Alison that his former person, Miss Flanders, was poisoned. Everyone else believes she died naturally after a long illness, but then nobody else knows about “the corporation.”

It’s not easy to summarize this short story without revealing too much, but I will tell you that Angel is not the only one of his kind. I will also tell you that this corporation is after him and other cats like him, with a plan to (of course) profit from them.

All Alison has to do is identify who killed Miss Flanders (and how, not to mention why) and locate the other winged cats. Trouble is, how to decide whom to suspect and whom to trust among Miss Flanders’s card-playing friends, the detective the dead woman hired (before she died, obviously), and Alison’s ex-boyfriend (who just won’t take a hint and go away).

If it sounds like kind of a strange story, that’s because it is, but we enjoyed the mix of mystery and fantasy. Seriously, we can’t stop thinking about what the world would be like if cats could fly. No more cats stuck in trees, for one thing. But I digress.

We found “The Cat with Wings” to be an imaginative story with a lot of promise, though that promise is not quite fully developed. The basic story is intriguing, and we enjoyed reading it, but we constantly wished for a little more, particularly at the end. Some of the dialogue between Alison and her ex-boyfriend did not ring quite true, there were a few grammar issues that a good copyedit could fix, and the large tabs in the e-book layout were a distraction, but overall we found “The Cat with Wings” to be an entertaining read and an unusual story. We’d love to read more stories from Shaclan that take the ideas in this story a little further.

“The Cat with Wings” is worth a try, especially if you happen to have (or dream of having) a telepathic flying cat.

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