4 / 5
Bones consists of five stories, ranging from flash fiction (“The Rambling Man”) to novellette (“Knock and You Will See Me”).
Both “Did You Forget About Me?” And “The Trade” were previously released in 2016, and show Cull at his earliest. There are too many exclamation marks in the dialogue, and the stories feel brittle in places, but they’re both still worth reading. “The Trade,” in particular, could have easily been expanded upon, and I would have welcomed it.
My two favorites – “Hope and Walker” and “Knock and You Will See Me” – were originally put out in 2017 by the author. “Hope and Walker” felt unique, creepy, and oddly magical. “Knock and You Will See Me” plays best in its set up (it feels like another direction could have been taken, one I would have preferred over a demon dealer), but the delivery and conclusion were satisfying nevertheless; this one would make an unsettling and thoroughly enjoyable movie.
Lastly, Cull has included a previously unreleased short (just several pages in length) called “The Rambling Man.” Though I appreciate the hardship that comes with making compelling flash fiction, this story felt weak and uninspired. But considering its brevity, the disappointment is easy to ignore when looking at the collection as a whole.
Andrew Cull is onto something with his writing, which you can see progress with the more recent stories. In a month, he will release a standalone novella, and I have read enough now to know I want it. Bones got my attention and made me a fan; the hardest part is over now. Just bring me more, Cull.