By Steve Stred
During a long, hard winter, Yuri’s father dies, leaving him alone on the family farm without any remaining livestock. Unable to grow crops or tend the farm, Yuri packs up and finds work in a mine belonging to the mysterious Mr. Petrov.
Yuri enjoys his work and is completely provided for, but everyone treats him differently when he ignores the warning given to him by Boris: “Don’t eat the stew.”
Yuri is a novella, and like a lot of stories with lower word counts, it’s hard to say much without giving something away. It does become clear to the reader early on what is actually happening in the large house, but Yuri remains oblivious (the tension rising as the reader silently begs for him to just leave).
Yuri is sweetly naïve, sometimes a little stupid, but his traits endure him to the reader. It’s clear he’s had a hard life, and deeply appreciates what Mr. Petrov has given him. His character carries the reader through in a dark, twisted tale that is sure to put you off your next meal.
Yuri really does pack a punch, providing a lot in such short space. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read, especially for something so brief. I’d love to see more of Stred’s work set around this mysterious place and the creepy Mr. Petrov. I’ll definitely be checking out more of his longer work after this.
Review by Elle Turpitt
I received this book from the author for review consideration.