Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this short story in exchange for an honest review.
Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz is a horror/suspense short story in which Jessica, a college student, begins receiving threatening text messages from a blocked number. The story only takes around half an hour or 45 minutes to read, making it a fast-paced thrill.
Given that the story is short and relies on a few twists, there is not much I can say about the plot without revealing spoilers. However, I will say that it was quick-paced, suspenseful, and kept me hooked all the way through. While I do feel a college student and university setting is a bit overdone in horror and suspense novels (and movies especially), the twist at the end provides a refreshing spin and saves the story from becoming too cliché. My one criticism of the story is that I feel it would benefit from being a bit longer, not only for my own enjoyment, but for there to have been more development leading up to the end, as the conclusion felt a bit rushed.
The writing is strong and concise. Likewise, Lanz’s characters are well-developed, especially considering how little space he gives himself to craft them. The characters play well with each other – the relationships are multi-faceted and believable.
Overall, Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz is an enjoyable and quick horror/suspense short story that will keep fans of the genre captivated until the end…and wishing the end didn’t come quite so soon.
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