Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: When Colors Bleed, by Estevan Vega

When Colors Bleed
by Estevan Vega

Release Date: March 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Author
Rating: 5/5
WHEN COLORS BLEED is a collection of short stories by the author of ARSON. This collection features three unique stories with universal themes of love, loss, and regret. Watch the colors bleed.

BABY BLUE:
Casey never had any luck with men, even though she was employed by one of the finest clothing stores in New England and saw attractive, “sure kinds” strolling through her section every day like clockwork. At twenty-three years old, she has given up on her dreams of the spotlight, of finding love, and of ever getting out of the small town she reluctantly calls home. But one rainy afternoon, Thomas Rayford, a very unusual and kind stranger, stumbles into her life looking for an odd, baby blue suit. One thing is certain: Casey, the twenty-three-year-old dreamer stuck in a line, will never be the same.

VANILLA RED:
From his cold hell in Block C, a nameless man unfolds this twisted tale. This is the story of a man who becomes something else. A man who had a father once. A man who loved once. “They want to know why. They want a reason,” he confesses. “But nobody likes the reasons. They’re like unwanted children or cancers with no cure. A reason is a justification, an excuse so we can’t be blamed. But I know what it is I’ve done, and there is no reason that can take it back.” So begins Vanilla Red, a confession, a story, a prayer, or perhaps a drip of dark truth in the batter of humanity. Take a look inside and tell me what color you see.

THE MAN IN THE COLORED ROOM:
Colin awakens in a room, jittery, afraid, and confused. He knows not how he got here, who brought him, or why. And the only thing waiting for him is a hot cup of coffee and a seemingly flawless room that bleeds colors. As an architect, he understands that no room is perfect, but somehow this anomaly has crawled through the cracks and pushed the limits of perfection. No seams. No lines. No windows. Enter a bald man in a suit. Once he steps through the door, he makes the colors disappear with the push of button. His name is Jack, and he claims to be a friend. Still unsure of anything, Colin wages war with his mind, with a dark truth he isn’t ready to accept, and with Jack. In the moments that follow, Jack asks Colin a series of questions, questions that will reveal the where, the how, and the why of his arrival.

Estevan Vega completely blew me away with his novel Arson when I read it last year. So when Estevan contacted me to read his short story collection, When Colors Bleed, I jumped on it immediately - no questions asked.

Each story is similar in that they have the usual dark undertone (no sunshine and rainbows here), yet they're each unique stories that stand on their own. I found myself completely taken by each of the stories. BABY BLUE had me in tears, VANILLA RED made the part of me that loves reading about murder and mayhem squeal with giddiness, and THE MAN IN THE COLORED ROOM had me guessing what was going on until the very end. While each was vividly different from the others, they all had the same result: they made me fall absolutely in love with the collection itself, eager to read more.

No matter which story you read, Vega's writing put you right dead in the center of the story. You experience everything that the characters experience. Feel everything they feel. No matter what their story is, or their motives, you somehow are able to empathize with each and every one of them. There's always a trait in each of the characters that you can relate to that makes the story that much more real for you.

With a little over 70 pages, When Colors Bleed can easily be read in one sitting. Be warned: once you've read these deliciously addicting tales, you'll want more. It can't be helped. That's just the way it is. I'm realizing it's just part of the Vega-effect.


Find Estevan Vega Online
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase When Colors Bleed
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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