The Collector

The Collector
When ten year old Junie Rae Campbell wakes up in the parking lot of a seedy motel, and her mother is found dead inside, she has no choice but to go with the social worker who comes to collect her and take her to the tiny, sun-baked Oklahoma town of Crankston’s Landing to live with Granny Enid.  But when lies and lechery threaten Junie and the people she has latched onto, secrets are exposed, untapped abilities reemerge…and a weapon for vengeance is born.

  • A little bit of Carrie, a little bit of Looper, a little bit of a juvenile Dexter.  Terri Wallace has created a strong character in 10-year-old Junie.  Great story, and a reader will look forward to seeing what happens next with this young girl, who has some surprising and powerful skills.
  • I wanted this to go on for days. Love the characters, love the story, love love love the voice. Amazing story!!!
  • Great short read. The author has done something rare; she has given us a heroine who is at once sympathetic and yet very frightening. We are drawn in as innocent as little Junie and are led along to find the dark, yet somehow satisfying truth about her and pretty much every other person in town. Spend a little time with Junie and Enid and you’ll never look at lemon drops the same way again. Good, solid, scary fun.
  • This was an excellent story. It reminded me of Stephen King’s Carrie, only with deeper character development and a more interesting plot.
  • This well-crafted story by Terri Wallace pulls the reader into a place and time that is foreign, yet completely familiar.  The vague sense of foreboding coupled with characters we care about makes this a story that will be read in one sitting.  The unique plot and genuine voices leave one with the hope that this is only the first tale in a series.
  • This is a short read, but I could’ve stayed with it for days. I loved the characters and the things-you-don’t-know-about playing out in the background, creeping up every so often to make you wonder just what the hell is going on here. You cheer for a small heroine who does terrible things with powers she can only barely harness, and through it all it becomes increasingly difficult to know who to trust. Delicious ambiguity that makes the mind reel with possibilities. I hope to see a lot more from this author. (and maybe from these characters? pretty please?)
  • This a fine piece of short fiction. Good character and setting development; I felt like I could have lived in Cranston’s Landing. Well written, evenly paced. I only wished it was longer.


  • This was a fantastic and enjoyable read.  My only criticism is that it was too short.  I would love to have read this as a full length script, rather than a short story.  That being said, I was highly impressed with Wallace’s ability to draw you into the characters so rapidly.  Her use of language and tone swiftly stirred emotion; painting a sometimes disturbing world.The personalities were easy to connect with, both good and bad, and you really got a taste for how the main character, Junie, absorbed the world around her.  There were several hair raising moments, which I personally love, as well as tearful winces.  The story line is thick with honesty, depth, and a mysterious rhythm you can’t help but crave.

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