The first story "Snapshot" is about a a young teen named, Michael. He finds that a woman he knows has been dealing with issues of Alzheimer's, and her husband has been trying his hardest to protect and take care of her. Michael is asked to help watch over the woman when the husband has to go off, and one day he finds a man with a strange Polaroid taking pictures of the woman. Later, Michael learns that the camera has special powers. The powers the camera has are not powers that Michael wants to use, but eventually he has to.
The second story "Loaded" is about several different people and their experience with guns, gun violence, and death. The story transitions from the past, to the present, and it has several different elements. Some of them didn't seem to blend together until the very end.
The third story "Aloft" is about a young man named Arthur, who gets stuck up in the clouds. He is on a sky diving mission after a friends death, and finds that things won't go as well as planned. Not only is he frightened of heights, but the woman he thinks he loves, Harriet, takes no notice of his love, and things are complicated between them. He is forced to jump as the plane starts to go down and the landing doesn't quite go as planned. Arthur learns that things are not as they should be, and he isn't quite sure what to do. Eventually he finds that there are things that he can do to improve his situation.
The last story in this book, "Rain" regards a young woman, Honeysuckle. She is surprised one day when rain comes out of the sky, but instead of the normal water it is crystal shards. The rain kills several people, including Honeysuckle's girlfriend, and she must find out why it happened and how. When she does find out who, or what, is behind the crystal spikes killing everyone.
I've read almost everything Joe Hill has written, all except Horns, which I may get to someday. Of this collection I enjoyed the first and last stories, but I really didn't care for the second and third, which is why I am giving this three stars.
"Snapshot" was a great view of what happens when one doesn't pay attention to the world around them. No one noticed, except Michael, that there is something amiss. The characters were quite interesting, although I would have liked to know a little more about the memories of the little girl throughout the story. It didn't end as I thought it would, but when one has power you never know what they will do with it.
Both "Loaded" and "Aloft" did not meet my expectations. "Loaded" was not sure whether it wanted to be pro or anti gun. There were moments when it seemed absolutely anti-gun, but it would have ended better as an pro-gun piece. I didn't care for the ending either. I thought it was a bad call to end it with the likely death of one of the characters, who, I personally, think should have lived. I know people thing it was ambiguous, but I don't agree with that.
"Aloft" was just too long. I feel that a lot of it could have been left out, and it was my least favorite. I didn't care for the ending, and the rest of the story was a tad bit boring. There really isn't much I can say about it.
"Rain" was the most interesting story. I thought the ending was surprising, and I think that the idea of crystal needles falling from the sky is an interesting one, and most of the characters were very well written and I enjoyed them.
So, I enjoyed half of the stories and didn't enjoy the other half. I am sure others might feel different about the two stories I didn't care for, so I would recommend this book.