Book Review: Twenty-Four Seconds

Twenty-Four Seconds is yet another example of how Duncan Wilson can cram EVERYTHING into the smallest spaces. This book of only 42 pages, is so thick with excitement and suspense that I felt I was reading a novel.

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Title: Twenty-Four Seconds
Series: None
Author: Duncan Wilson
Release: October 2021
Genre: Short Story Collection, Sci-Fi

James Tyler of the Rochester Rochesters, by marriage only, is going about his business as usual when he is kidnapped and taken to a Designated Purge Zone to be held for ransom. Little do the gangsters holding James know, the other Rochester Rochesters would rather see him dead and hold the power in their hands to designate which Purge Zones live up to their names. Will James convince his kidnappers and escape certain doom at the hands of his in-laws?

Starting with characters, each story has a distinct main character and each of them are perfectly written. In the first story, the main character might trick you into thinking he is passive and helpless, but that ending will show you so much about the character and the world. It was very satisfying. Wilson takes good care of the reader in this short collection. I felt invested in each person’s mission and thought they were treated well.

As for settings, everything is easy to see. I especially enjoyed the feeling of movement in the title story. Although we went from one location to another pretty quickly, I still felt emersed. On the flips side, the second story, Hang 10,000, is only placed in one setting, and that setting means everything to us. No matter where we are, Wilson PUTS us there.

The plots for each story were very inventive. Even when I thought the plot of the first story was going to be the same as other stories I’d read with similar circumstances, Wilson added an element to the world that I did not see coming. Even as the story ramped up, I was so immersed that I didn’t notice the brilliant foreshadowing.

Overall, I’d highly recommend this quick read. Wilson has a way with the short story and is gifted at portraying the Sci-Fi genre.


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