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The Shadow of a Favoured Friend (Inner Universe short story)

Book cover of The Shadow of a Favoured Friend. A prancing horse on yellow background. Title in golden.

The Shadow of a Favoured Friend, Inner Universe, short story 3.5

By Natalie Kelda.

Find out more here: Link to Natalie's webpage

This quick read is set weeks/months before the book Under Far Galaxian Skies begins.

We follow Ricky, a slightly unfortunate young man who is struggling to meet ends as a newly graduate who’s been unable to get a job (I feel you Ricky! The job market is bs here too).

His best friend is our favorite struggle-boy Balfour, except in this story he’s not as struggling as he’ll be later on. In fact, there’s a hint of jealousy, borderline resentment, from Ricky towards Balfour’s good fortune. He’s handsome, he’s got a job, a good family, a good home - despite the trauma he carries from his childhood. But Ricky is a good friend and he stifles his envy, and supports Balfour’s good fortune when he gets a chance of a lifetime.

Knowing what will happen at the end of this story (because it’s the event that kicks off Under Far Galaxian Skies) made it an anxious read. Things are peachy, but they won’t be. Ricky is jealous, but soon he won’t be. Balfour is on track, soon he’ll crash.

It made me ache so much more for Ricky because he’s downs and ups are cursed from the beginning. I know his heart will break and Natalie chose the absolute best time to break it! It’s a bitter ending for sure!

Aside from the story, it was fun to get to know more about characters that are mentioned in Under Far Galaxian Skies, that I’ve not yet met as I’ve not read the first 3 books (yet). More so, it’s a nice window to the vast universe that Natalie has created for her Inner Universe series.

If you want a fantastical space-world and some low-stakes, high-emotion stories, Natalie’s work is a good place to start!

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