Title: Butterfly Potion
Author: Trent Zelazny
Publisher: Nightscape Press
Release Date: June 30, 2012
Book Source: Paperback
“Perry wakes up in an arroyo, hungover and unsure how he got there. His wallet and cell phone missing, he walks back to the last place he remembers being before he blacked out—the bar. Fueled by alcohol and a touch of companionship, Perry is determined to find out who rolled him, but standing in his way is an accident that happened six months earlier and the struggle his life has become since. In his search for the material things taken from him, he risks walking right past something far more precious: A new beginning. This new novella by Zelazny is dark, gripping, emotional noir at its best!” – Amazon
This book shocked the hell out of me. It’s not fantasy. It’s not horror. It’s not even scary in the sense of ghosts or monsters or creatures. What it is, however, is incredibly real, dark, raw, grimy and sad. Perry wakes up from a drunken stupor like he has so many times before. Everything on his person is gone. No wallet. No cell phone. He’s got 45 cents in his pocket and not much else. He begins backtracking and tries desperately to recall the events from the evening before. He stumbles into the local bar he frequents and speaks with a couple of the regulars who attempt to assist in filling in the blanks for Perry. The story gets started quickly and ends almost as abruptly. At 92 pages in length, the brief synopsis is about all I’m going to divulge at the moment. Giving away anymore of the brief (but comprehensive) story would be full of spoilers
I really enjoyed Perry’s character and the struggle portrayed in this story. Alcoholism has affected a couple of people very close to me including a couple of friends and relatives. It was difficult to read the situations that Perry continuously found himself in. I’m struggling to write this review because it’s forced me to think back about the times in my life that I found myself at rock bottom. We’ve all had those moments, right? It’s not pleasant to think about except those situations have molded us and strengthened us to be the person we are today. I rooted for Perry the entire time and just kept thinking – this is going to make you stronger one day. You just have to get past this rock bottom.
I know I’m sounding overly cryptic and I swear I don’t mean to. The story was fast-paced and emotional from start to finish. Like I mentioned previously, I don’t want to elaborate much more on the story line aside from what is already given to you in the synopsis. Despite my review being fairly cryptic, you’ll have to take my word for it. If you enjoy little novellas with intricate, highly developed characters, I’d recommend BUTTERFLY POTION.
It’s a real life book. It’s about the not-so-happy endings and the twists and turns that life often dishes out. It’s about loss and grief and coping as best as we possibly can. It’s about getting beat down and then continuing to be kicked even further. I’m giving this one a solid 4-star review because it tugged on me in a few different personal ways. Awesome writing with amazing characters that were easy to identify with and even easier to put yourself in their shoes. I’m looking forward to reading more of Trent Zelazny’s collection and would recommend this one.
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