21 Grams

21 Grams by M. Regan

In the bowels of an unassuming, ever-moving funerary parlor, a mortician known as the Operator hides a fearsome machine called the Godwin, rumored to have the ability to resurrect the dead. It runs, like a soul does, on logos: on words. And in exchange for those words—for a client’s life story—the corpse of their choosing might yet walk again. Careful, though. Words bear weight, so one must choose them wisely. Author M. Regan delivers a harrowing and beautiful glimpse into a world filled with desire, darkness, love, and loss.

The IndieMuse Review

This is the official first release for Timber Ghost Press; the title and artwork immediately grabbed my attention, the back page, my money.

The idea of the soul weighing 21 grams comes from a scientific study published by Duncan MacDougall in 1907; a flawed experiment never repeated. Interesting read.


The reader is thrown into a scene already underway, one that almost reads how you would imagine if Frankenstein cared for his creation. A benevolent figure of science gently talking with their subject. But that is not this story. The Operator is called for a particular procedure, one that will raise a corpse, all for the cost of a lifetime in words. I felt this gave the most information on how the Godwin device works, though by the end the implications of its reach are beyond alarming.


Where the last tale seemed to take place in a time long before technology we would recognize, this one appears to be far beyond our reach with internal computers being mainstream (Black Mirror warned us!). We once again have the Operator running the show, different client, different corpse. Without spoilers, the reader will begin to notice a theme (I did), but how does that connect the stories, what does that mean for the bigger picture? I also really wonder of the Operator’s purpose, or ultimate desire at the end of this one. If you are an excitable reader like me, and find that you skip sentences if you start reading too quickly; focus for this one. I had missed a few my first reading, misunderstandings abounded. Second reading when I was focused, no problems. I hate that I’m a kid on crack with a book I enjoy, like “chill girl, breathe!”


This ties it all together, and let me tell you—just wow. I know I’ve been vague talking about it; wow this, great that, but I have been doing it so that I have not spoiled anything for you! There are many emotions in play here: grief, rage, loss, forgiveness, love and fear. How do we handle these emotions when they are tied to a person important to us, in whatever capacity. Each tale will make you ponder and ache, in a new way. 21 Grams is not going to leave my heart for a long time.


Reading is my happy place and I want to share it with others; reviewing grew from basic tweets about books I enjoyed. I couldn’t be happier for how that turned out, book Twitter and the horror community have some of the nicest people. Dark fiction is where I find myself most of the time, but I enjoy almost any type of book if it catches my eye. I’m not really sure what this will turn into long term, but helping spread the word on an author’s book is the best feeling at the moment. Book nerd for life.


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