The Elliott Chronicles: Box Set, Matt Zachary

elliotRating: 2 Stars

Publisher: Porterlance Books

Genre: YA, LGBT (G)

Length: 206 pages

Reviewer: Josh

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“Christmas was Elliot’s favourite time of year, and picking out the Christmas tree marked the start of their holiday season.”


Before I present the official blurb for this box set I would like to mention that I am reviewing all three novellas contained as a whole. I have allowed leeway for continuity and pace at the breaks between these novellas so as to remain fair in my critique.

The blurb presented below is exactly what prospective buyers are given.

The Elliott Chronicles: Box Set is comprised of all three novellas in The Elliott Chronicles series. 

“Elliott’s Winter” is book one in the new series, The Elliott Chronicles, by best selling author, Matt Zachary. 

From a small farm town in West Virginia, Elliott lived a simple life. He was a shy, somewhat introverted eleven year old with a dad who was like his best friend. His other best friend, Nick, was much more outgoing. Life was good for Elliott, but one winter day, all that changed, turning his life upside down. 

Suddenly, he was forced to get used to a new environment, new friends and even new and unfamiliar feelings that would just be the beginning of all the changes he would endure. 

This book is a novella of about 19,000 words. 

“Summer Storm” is the second novella in The Elliott Chronicles, by best-selling author, Matt Zachary. 
Just when Elliott was comfortable in his life and finally coming out of his shell, he found himself once again yanked away from his home. He went from living in a happy, functional foster home to living in New Jersey with an abusive, alcoholic uncle. 

How will Elliott deal with an abusive uncle, a new girlfriend and new feelings that he’s finding it harder and harder to deny? 

This book is a novella of approximately 15,000 words and contains some adult language. 

“Facing Feelings” is the third novella in The Elliott Chronicles, by best-selling author, Matt Zachary. 

The story starts with Elliott being reunited with his old home at the Lachey’s, but as time goes by, he realizes everything has begun to change. Find out how he deals with his growing feelings for Ryan and all of the other changes occurring around him. 

This book is a novella of approximately 15,000 words and contains some adult language. 


The Slim Thread of Hope (a.k.a. What I Liked)

Drags You In

The Elliot Chronicles did drag me in as a reader, and I was unable to put it down until I had completed all three novellas. I was constantly wanting to know the next snippet in this journey, and overall I found I had an interesting story on my hands.

Pain of Loss

I felt that the portrayal of an 11 year old boy losing his only family was delicately and realistically handled. Emotions in particular were well captured.


Sadly, this is where the positives end….


Destroyer of Hope (a.k.a. What Let it Down)


I terms of content I didn’t detect too many issues between the three novellas, there was one minor incident of confusion about Elliot’s age, but this was understandable since it was his birthday and there was a break between novellas.

The same cannot be said for the line editing of The Elliot Chronicles. The novellas are shocking when you consider the number of missing commas, capitalisation and quotation marks. Some sentences didn’t even make sense. It felt like the entire story had been hurriedly written, and then no one even went back to check it. I found it very distracting while reading, and it left me with a highly negative opinion upon finishing.


I enjoy realistic books, my past reviews have been a testament to this. My main problem with the Elliot Chronicles lies with the entry and continued treatment of Elliot within the foster care system. On one hand we find that Elliot is well treated because he lucks out and is placed with a good foster family – which is great, as it does sometimes happen; on the other hand he is brutally torn from his past life and not given the opportunity to retrieve personal belongings or even attend his father’s funeral. While reading, any time the foster system was mentioned I literally started shaking with anger in the way in which it portrayed every single government official as cold, uncaring and obviously not looking out for the sanity and well-being of an 11 year old boy. There are bad eggs in the system, it’s just not this uniform.


Rushed and dissatisfying. End of line.


Summing Up

To be brutally honest, I find it difficult to give books I finish ratings as low as 2 stars. When I looked back on my experience, however, I found that the pros were heavily outweighed by the cons, and despite wanting to like it I just couldn’t. Deep within this box set there is a great story wanting to come out, but poor presentation and a neglect for realism have held it back.


“Ryan and Elliot walked the halls, hand in hand without so much as a negative word from anyone.”

4 responses to “The Elliott Chronicles: Box Set, Matt Zachary

  1. Kazza says:

    I am getting very ticked off with some writer’s inability to have someone edit their manuscripts. And, yes, there are some terrible people within the foster system, but there are those who care.

    Sounds like a good premise but lacking in execution.

  2. Cindi says:

    I agree completely about the lack of editing. That would drive me a bit crazy. I’ve read another by this author that had the same issues (among other things).

    Great review, Josh, as always.

  3. Brigette says:

    I <3 this. Ty for the review.

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