Review: ABC-Destiny by Voinks

Destiny entwines the lives of Abigail, Beatrice, and Cecelia (the eponymous A, B, and C). Although we meet them only briefly – both at the beginning of this book and again at the end – their stories are embroiled in the rest of the tale – that of Frank and Delphine, with whom we travel on a journey of love, of disaster, of heartache, and of recovery. This book is about loveable characters and how their lives are pulled together by destiny.

I’ve been a fan of Voinks’ work for sometime now, after having read a great many of her short stories on her blog (which is well worth checking out if you like short fiction, by the way – she catches snapshots of life in her stories with observational skills that I could only ever aspire to have). In fact, I read a lot of short-story blogs, and one thing that I’ve noticed is that sometimes, the author struggles to make the transition from short shorts to longer shorts or full-length novels. So I was intrigued to read something by Voinks with a little more to chew on – and I wasn’t disappointed.

I think the term ‘page-turner’ is used too often but it’s a term that definitely applies in this case. The story is so intriguing that I was keen desperate to find out what happened, and that kept me up way past my bedtime (after which I bemoan my lack of sleep but in reality, it’s an occurrence that excites me a lot more than it probably should). The book begins with a series of snapshots of the lives of each character, after which it focuses on just two – Frank and Delphine. It’s this technique in particular that had me racking my brain to work out what was happening, and mostly, I wanted to know how the initial three snapshots connected with the rest of the story. After racing to the end having all revealed, I wasn’t disappointed – the connection is a strong one and what’s even better is that it wasn’t one I couldn’t have possibly guessed at before.

This book, at its heart, is a mystery but it’s one that is embroiled in strong character development and intriguing plot. It’s emotional and heartfelt, but not in a way that detracts from the story line. It’s believable yet unbelievable all at the same time. It’s short, but it’s complete – the story is well-rounded with closure and for me at least, I wouldn’t want it to be any longer. In fact, it’s structured more like a short story than a novel (and I don’t mean just in its length) – it has the feel of a photograph over a movie and that adds a certain element of rapidity but also of satisfaction. It’s a quick bite of something interesting, a snack rather than a four-course meal, a pleasant jog around the park in the sunshine rather than an epic marathon. It retains all of the delights of Voinks’ shorter works whilst adding a little length and a little extra bite.

It’s most definitely a book that I would recommend, and for me, I fear it’s the beginning of a long love affair between me and Voinks’ work. I don’t know whether she has written anything of any greater length, something more akin to a tour de force, but I’d like to read something like that by her – something that I can really get my teeth into. In the meantime though, I’ll continue to enjoy her short stories with the same vigour as before.


  1. What can I say Riley, except thank you for a brilliant review. You are spot on; this was originally written as part of a compilation of 5 stories, but the publishers decided to make it a stand alone.
    My first book ‘Changes’ by Voinks was more three-course meal size. When I get round to proof reading my latest 100,000 word banquet you might need to loosen your belt a little. 😀 They say reviews are an author’s life blood but they are also inspiration for nibbles (short stories) in between the main courses. Thank you again for feeding me, in more ways than one. x

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