Author: Kealan Patrick Burke
Genre: Horror Short Story
Number of Pages: 42
This story ended up really surprising me, in a good way. While it easily could have been a gimmicky waste of time, Offline turned out to be a great way to spend a couple of dollars on your Kindle. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just lay out the bare basics of the plot. Offline is a psychological horror story about catfishing told entirely through IM’s, between a teenage girl and a guy who pushes boundaries a little too much for her liking.
The girl, Mandy, is a pretty regular high school student with a kind heart and I found myself sympathizing with her. The format makes for an extremely quick read but I thought the author did a unusually good job with making the communication between the two characters sound authentic.
The guy is believable as his messages become more intrusive and disturbing, but Mandy’s attempts to give him the benefit of a doubt also ring true for what little we know of her character. Best of all, I actually did not see the twist ending coming. I love it when a story can surprise me the way this one did, and I think people looking for a fast-paced spooky read will really enjoy this.
Note: The sequel to this story, In the Flesh (Offline Part #2) is completely mediocre and in my opinion, worth missing.