Lighting the Dark Side is a collection of three novellas and three short stories. William Potter entices his audience with action, mystery, fear, and romance. His first story engages his readers with a tale between a geek and gorgeous woman. A story which seems destined to fail from the beginning. However, Potter develops the relationship with such finesse that the ending is up for grabs.
Second, an artist desperately tries to thrive and discover love despite his family’s domineering ways. In the next story, Potter treats his readers to a hard-boiled crime story filled with all the fixings. That includes an unexpected twist at the end. Potter also gallantly writes a scenario of the world ending story thriller as a flash fiction piece.
Up to now, Potter’s stories contain a character-driven and emotional quality which sets them apart from many other stories. However, his last two stories are the most fascinating to read by far. They expose the human condition, with all its flaws and potential, and challenge his characters to behave as they see fit in that immediate circumstance. In the story, Blessing or Curse, he pinned the title appropriately, referring to a large lottery win. However, a kidnapping for ransom which follows changes the outcome. Potter uses concise dialogue and the story is about a twist of fate.
His last story is about a lost teenager and a man with a rescuer complex. It is probably is his best story but also most complex tale in the collection. The intermingling motives of the two find their way together against a world that does not understand them. These characters help each other and themselves. They find refuge in honesty in each other. In a sea of confusing societal impositions, they learn to rediscover trust.
Potter’s writing skills shine as a storyteller throughout his collection. His ability to intersperse back story and control the speed of the plot is especially important when it comes to character development. I highly recommend Lighting the Dark Side to all readers. His stories captivate the mind in all respects. I hope to see more works from William Potter soon!
Reviewed by Mona Lisa Safai for TCM Reviews
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