Ekleipsis, written by Tamel Wino, is a collection of five short stories all written from a first-person perspective. Each story explores the darker side of humanity as the characters in the story pursue their desires, some to extreme ends. The characters are ordinary people put in relatively ordinary situations, but their actions and words show the depths of human depravity. The big sins are on display throughout the stories: anger, lust, revenge, and even murder. The less-obvious, but equally devastating sins, are also on display: hatred, envy, lying, suspicion, and doubt. A common sin in nearly all the characters is selfishness. Each story begs the question: how far would you go to get what you want for yourself?
Ekleipsis by Tamel Wino is a collection of well-written stories. The characters are relatable; each character could be your neighbor, or co-worker, or even yourself. The sinful flaws of the characters are also very real; we all have anger or desire revenge, even if only a few people would act in such extreme measures in which some of the characters carry out their selfish desires. What I found even more chilling than the sins of the characters was the fact that none of the stories end in resolution. There is no redemption for the characters, and none of the stories end that way because "the bad guy wins." There is simply no hope left for the characters in any of the stories. The only exception to this is the final story where resolution and redemption is attempted, but what the reader finds out is that there is no hope for resolution or redemption in such broken people. So the stories also beg the question: if redemption and resolution cannot be found in human beings, where can it be found? The quote from John Milton's Paradise Lost is a dark commentary on the human condition, but Milton also wrote Paradise Regained. There is hope for humanity, but it must come from a Savior who is a perfect human being, but who comes from above us.
From the author: In my opinion, the review is pretty accurate. But I don't agree that all the stories' endings are hopeless ('the bad guy wins' as the reviewer put it). I like my endings to be open-ended because I want the reader's imagination to roam free to conclude and also to heighten the tension/fear factor. I feel that the endings, except for the fourth story, could go either way, depending on the the reader's interpretation.