The more you look, the more you learn. Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro have created an out of the ordinary eBook experience, an app novella, that dives into the overlapping thoughts of James, a demolition consultant who struggles with his vision and his memories of the Gulf War. Pry isn’t just a story you read off a screen, but one you interact with.
Pry has a branching narrative, similar to game writing, which can feel overwhelming at first because it is a new way of interactively reading. The words keep opening and connecting deeper thoughts, enhancing the story. The reader becomes James, not just by reading his thoughts, but by seeing the world around him. The reader pinches and pulls on the screen, revealing the vast layers of images, videos, and text all filtered through James’ mind.
James’ suffering past, and his lack of communication with his best friend, Luke, causes feelings of discomfort. James is disconnected from his current life and distances himself from Luke, even though they presently work together. All he sees is the squad leader version of Luke. During the war, James had feelings for Jessie, another member of their squad, who was secretly involved with Luke. James added photos of Jessie to an album that held memories of his late mother. The album was supposed to be his way to leave thoughts of war and remind himself of human connection; but instead, it became a fire of regrets and the catalyst that led to Jessie’s death.
It would be interesting to change narrators and experience Luke’s perspective. The creativity behind Pry provides a unique and memorable experience. Look deeper and your eyes will catch something else that will pry open that desire for human connection and to keep those we love close.
Pry by Danny Cannizzaro & Samantha Gorman. Tender Claws, October 2014.
Reviewer bio: Laurie Jackson is a writer and artist who is currently working on her first YA series. She started combining her artwork with her creative writing in the imagine section of her blog #words2art.