Short Story Review – Maria’s Children – Tobi Ogundiran

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a ghost ship story. An even longer time since I’ve read one written in this century. Tobi Ogundiran’s tale is loosely inspired by the real life story of the Mary Celeste. Rather than telling a straight forward tale of what happened to the people aboard the Mary Celeste, he tells the story of what happens to children of a small and superstitious fishing village who find cursed relics of the ship.

I think that was a good choice. Not to split genre hairs again, but the story gives me Dark Fantasy vibes more than pure horror vibes. That’s not a complaint. Ogundiran does an excellent job of building a world that feels real, but with an undercurrent of dark magic.

Despite it’s length, the story manages to balance an A-plot and a B-plot that I can’t really get into without going into spoilers. If I had a complaint it might be that I’d have liked a little more horror from the ending. In particular I would have liked to know if there were any familiar faces among the ghost ship’s crew.

Final Verdict

I think this story could have been a little longer, actually. Which is a rare criticism from me. What’s on the page is solid, though, and I would recommend checking this one out. Especially if you’re a fan of ghost ships.

7 arbitrary stars out of 10 arbitrary stars

I found this story in the July Issue of Boneyard Soup Magazine.


I co-host the Words About Books podcast with my writing partner Nate.

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