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Injured ReservesInjured Reserves by D.C. Bourone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Injured Reserves” is a haunting story by DC Bourone that will stay with you for a long time. Bourone’s artistic ability to weave a literary masterpiece out of ordinary characters that become bigger than life in the process is extraordinary indeed.

As a reader, I’m taken in by DC Bourone’s ability to tell a story. As a writer, I’m enthralled by the level of talent inherent in DC Bourone’s writing. It’s not an easy story to either read or write. “Injured Reserves” is, at times, horrific, harsh, and emotionally raw. Driven? Most definitely. Even knowing the inevitable ending at the very first will not sway readers or this writer from wanting to finish it in one sitting. And, at its ending, I predict that you will just sit there lamenting it’s over, even as you feel this captivating pall come over you because it’s finished and there is no more to do or say. “Injured Reserves” is like discovering a shooting star. We behold its glorious light and wondrous existence just as it flares across the universe and disappears. At the end of “Injured Reserves” you’ll sigh deep and struggle to breathe, if only for Billy and his men.

DC Bourone’s writing is amazing. Here are a few of my favorite passages:

“Lose the rhythm. Lose the mission. Lose your life.”

“They called it “the package,” and often, “The Bitch,” and ten feet away Keith lay beside her ribbed steel sheath the size of a child’s coffin, spot welded bolts and wire clips with lead seals every three inches around the stamped rim. Oh, how she had been loved. Cherished. Multiply buried and at least once poured into, and then chipped out of concrete, judging by her scabbed and sandy skin. A leprous queen, waiting decades for the right price and her crown bright as the sun. One of the fabled Six Sisters, lost in a distant age when the flagging Russian Bear had relaxed his grip.”

“They had lost the rhythm on another rocky beach, in Croatia, where they had just been shot into blood puppets. And Billy knew they were losing it here as the voices of the medics, normally clipped and dry as pilots landing a plane, grew increasingly frantic. Strangled curses, shouts for O negative and Ringer’s solution and Hespan blood extender rang high over the howl of the engines, merged with a rising crescendo of chirping Braun monitors Billy recognized as the last song of dying hearts.”

“Billy wondered if purgatory could be this dream, where he relived perhaps his finest moment and most certainly his greatest despair, and tried to find the balance.”

What an amazing literary style! “Injured Reserves” reads as poetic and lyrical as a sheet of music shimmering off the page. This is a fantastic novella by a very talented writer–however mysterious–DC Bourone. All I can say is more, please!

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