18 Short Stories That Pack A Punch
Here are 18 short stories that pack a punch and leave you wanting more. Are you looking for a good book to read but don’t have time for a full novel? Here is a list of several really good short stories worth your time and you won’t have to invest a lot it to have your mind blown.
Bones on Ice
It is called the “death zone”: the point on Everest, nearly five miles high, above which a climber cannot be rescued. More than 250 souls have lost their lives there. Most of the bodies remain, abandoned, frozen in place. When an earthquake leads to a miraculous recovery, Dr. Temperance Brennan is hired to identify the frozen mummified human corpse. The victim is the daughter of a wealthy Charlotte couple who never got the chance to say goodbye. But far from offering solace and closure, Tempe’s findings only provoke more questions. What happened on Mount Everest? Was the young woman’s death an accident? Why aren’t the other climbers talking? And how far will those hiding the truth go to make sure the past stays buried?
Odd Thomas: You Are Destined to Be Together Forever
The singular journey of Odd Thomas is approaching its unforgettable conclusion in Saint Odd. But before Odd’s destiny is revealed, this exclusive eBook short story looks back—way back—to where it all began for Odd Thomas and Stormy Llewellyn, two souls who are destined to be together forever.
Night of Cake & Puppets
In this new stand-alone novella from New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor comes the story of a romantic, funny, and fantastical first date. In Night of Cake & Puppets, Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy–the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Told in alternating perspectives, it’s the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike.
Four: The Transfer
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Fans of the Divergent series will be excited by ‘The Transfer’, the first of four new short stories told from Four’s perspective. Each brief story explores the world of the Divergent series through the eyes of the mysterious but charismatic Tobias Eaton, revealing previously unknown facets of his personality, backstory, and relationships.
Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell
Originally appearing in the Dangerous Women anthology and now available as a solo ebook, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is a chilling novella of the Cosmere, the universe shared by Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series and the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive.
When the familiar and seemingly safe turns lethal, therein danger lies. Amid a forest where the shades of the dead linger all around, every homesteader knows to follow the Simple Rules: “Don’t kindle flame, don’t shed the blood of another, don’t run at night. These things draw shades.” Silence Montane has broken all three rules on more than one occasion. And to protect her family from a murderous gang with high bounties on their heads, Silence will break every rule again, at the risk of becoming a shade herself.
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This is a ballad for those who have fought for brothers and sisters and for a system which has an ideal to be loved and a reality to be despised. For anyone who has been/loved a soldier or anyone seeking to understand the inner dialogue of the war fighter, I’d call this essential reading.
Every hero, even the accidental ones, have a beginning. Silas’s radical theory that drafters are not replaying time as much as they are temporarily sliding into an alternate universe has never been well-received, but frankly, the darling of Opti’s research has enough clout not to care, until a professor with a grudge tries to put a permanent end to it. Love can’t alter time, and sometimes, even being able to rub out a single mistake isn’t enough…
Although a trip to Florida is supposed to be about rest and relaxation, there’s no such thing as a day off for Dr. Temperance Brennan. She has come to visit her friend, a dedicated ornithologist who’s researching the threat that intrusive Burmese pythons pose to indigenous bird species in the Everglades. While sorting through the stomach of an eighteen-foot specimen, they make a disturbing discovery: bones that are unmistakably human. And when Tempe spots the telltale signs of murder by a very different kind of predator, she’s drawn into a case with its roots in the darkest depths of the swamp.
JJ and Jack are back and they’re on their honeymoon. Solving the ritualistic murder of a man who is just on the brink of celebrating his hundredth birthday isn’t their idea of a good vacation. But for JJ and Jack, it’s hard to turn their back on the dead.
Larger Than Life
A researcher studying memory in elephants, Alice is fascinated by the bonds between mother and calf—the mother’s powerful protective instincts and her newborn’s unwavering loyalty. Living on a game reserve in Botswana, Alice is able to view the animals in their natural habitat—while following an important rule: She must only observe and never interfere. Then she finds an orphaned young elephant in the bush and cannot bear to leave the helpless baby behind. Thinking back on her own childhood, and on her shifting relationship with her mother, Alice risks her career to care for the calf. Yet what she comes to understand is the depth of a parent’s love.
Old Man Johnson
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Abbie, a twenty-something free spirit who is dreading her looming parent-mandated enrollment in graduate school, makes a semi-annual pilgrimage to visit her perfectly well meaning and perfectly boring grandfather, Henry. But Abbie is roused out of her quarter-life crisis when she meets her grandfather’s persnickety, oddball friend, Johnson. With his cane and elderly clothing, he is the very picture of a bitter old man. The problem is, Johnson is 23 years old, and apparently completely delusional. Also a problem: Abbie is falling in love with him.
Life has shifted for J. P. Beaumont. After a tragic accident that devastated—and ultimately disbanded—his Special Homicide Investigaton Team, he accepts that he has left homicide detection behind at this point, but he has a lot of unanticipated free time on his hands. He’s keeping busy with renovations on the new house that he and his wife, Mel Soames, the newly appointed chief of police in Bellingham, Washington, have bought. But new fixtures and paint palettes can occupy only so much of Beau’s daily life, and Mel is encouraging him to return to where he is needed: investigating crimes.
Paladins of Shannara
Shea Ohmsford has had quite enough of quests. A year after surviving a harrowing odyssey, he is still plagued by troubling memories and dreams. A mysterious trafficker in spells and potions provides a restorative nostrum for the stricken Shea . . . along with a warning: Shea will break his vow to never again leave Shady Vale. And then the potion-maker’s prophecy comes to pass.
The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse
Murder! the letter says, Come at once. Anson House, Greyminster, Staircase No. 3. How can Flavia de Luce resist such an urgent plea? After all, examining a dead body sounds like a perfectly splendid way to spend a Sunday. So Flavia hops upon her trusted bicycle, Gladys, whose rubber tires hiss happily along the rainy road, and arrives at her father’s mist-shrouded old school. There, a terrified boy leads her to the loo where, sitting in a bathtub, is what appears to be a statue. But, no: To Flavia’s surprise, the thing is in fact a naked dead man. Save his face, he seems to have been carved out of copper. Never one to shy away from the macabre, Flavia gets to work—only to find that when an investigation begins with a metallic cadaver, ever more curious twists are to be expected.
It’s autumn in Painters Mill, and Chief of Police Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti are taking a much-needed vacation at a small bed and breakfast an hour outside of town. After closing a difficult case, they’re looking forward to some down time, but their relaxation is cut short by rumors that the old house where they’re staying is haunted by a girl who disappeared twenty years earlier, leaving nothing behind but some bloody clothes by the river and rumors of a volatile relationship. Swept up in the girl’s story, and a need for justice, Kate and John begin looking into the mysterious disappearance of Angela Blaine. They discover long-buried secrets–and unravel a mystery with an unexpected outcome.
When a robot defies his programming, is he broken? Or is he something else?
The Old Blue Line
Losing everything to a deceptive and cheating ex-wife should have destroyed Butch, and it almost nearly did. If it weren’t for his grandmother he’d still be wallowing in misery. She took him in, gave him a home, and later, left him her restaurant called the Roundhouse to run. All of this is threatened one afternoon when–years later–he’s approached and interrogated for the murder of his former wife. It seems that even after her death she has managed to damn him again by making Dixon a prime suspect in her case. It’s now left up to Butch to figure out whose setting him up before he ends up losing his future to the same woman who ruined his past.
The Death Factory
Death is the end, and if a man doesn’t speak before it silences him, then his deepest secrets go with him.
When a heart attack sends Penn’s father, Tom Cage, to the ER, Tom begs that his son be brought to his side to hear a dying declaration. But when Penn arrives, Tom denies ever making the request—keeping his secrets for another day. The emergency hurls Penn back to a chilling case in Houston, where he worked in a DA’s office known as the “death factory,” which sent more killers to death row than any other in America. While Penn cares for his ailing wife, a tormented forensic technician brings him evidence of a crime lab in chaos, throwing past convictions into doubt and begging Penn to prevent an imminent travesty of justice. With the desperation of a man fighting death in his own home, Penn must find a way to bring the machinery of the death factory to a halt.