Pretty Bird by Eli Nixon
Warnings for extreme animal abuse, violence, and drug use.
Pretty Bird by Eli Nixon is a science fiction novella in which a man finds himself faced with a difficult choice; his life or the lives of five others. After opening his door to find a parrot there, something especially unusual due to the lack of animals left on earth, the man makes the mistake of bringing the parrot inside. This mistake would
I wasn’t sure what to expect when going into this novella, but I have to say that I found it to be an enjoyable read.
The writing was easy to read and relatively error free. I really enjoyed how it was chaotic in a way that mirrored the character, but not in a way that was confusing or that made it hard to understand. However, I found the timeline a little hard to follow as it does jump around a bit. While it made sense why this was done later, I feel it could have used some tightening up to have it be clearer and flow better.
The dialogue was done in a way that each character had a unique voice and I found it easy to determine who was saying what, even without identifiers. With one of the characters, Lazarus, I found a bit harder to read due to his numerous pauses, but that just gave him a very clear voice of his own.
Speaking of characters, I have to say that I quite enjoyed the ones here. The main character is, honestly, rather pathetic. He’s alone, constantly on drugs, not really doing much with his life, and is suddenly part of a horrible plot he knows nothing about and wants no part of. Yet, somehow, Eli Nixon managed to write him in a way where I didn’t pity him, wasn’t annoyed by him, and honestly was just interested in what was going to happen to him, whether it was good or bad. Maybe it’s because it’s a novella or maybe it’s just how it was written, but I didn’t really feel a connection or emotional attachment to him. That being said, I didn’t feel I needed one either. All of the characters, even the parrot, you got to know fairly well in a relatively short time.
As for the plot, well it was definitely fast paced and interesting. There were twists and a lot of things I wasn’t expecting, which is always great in this kind of story. Some parts were a little confusing and I feel could have used more explanation, especially towards the very end (I can’t get into much detail here, but there was a bit with a program at the end and I’m still not sure how the main character knew how to do what he did), but overall it was fairly well done and kept me guessing.
I haven’t read anything like this before, but I’m glad I got the chance to read this one. Very entertaining and overall good, quick read if you’re in the mood for something a little on the darker side.
Entertainment Value: 4/5
Average Overall Rating: 3.9/5
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