Wonderfully funny, compelling character voice. Great re-imagining of the zombie mythos, convincing side characters and situations, deep message about...moreWonderfully funny, compelling character voice. Great re-imagining of the zombie mythos, convincing side characters and situations, deep message about addictions and family. I enjoyed it, but queasy reader be warned!(less)
I'm the author of one of the stories in this book, "Failsafe," so you may assume some bias here. However, but I did the final copyedits on every story...moreI'm the author of one of the stories in this book, "Failsafe," so you may assume some bias here. However, but I did the final copyedits on every story in this book. All I can say is that I am extremely honored my story appears with these stories. The caliber of talent here knocks my socks off--below are just a few thoughts on a small number of the stories appearing here.
"Charybdis" by Dan Wells reminded me of John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There?" (popularized by John Carpenter's film The Thing) and freaked me out! I loved it.
"Eyes Only" was packed with so much action and interesting James Bond characters I had to look up the author--can I describe the thrill I felt knowing my wee story appears in a book with someone who wrote episodes for Xena, Warrior Princess? Imagine a room full of puppies who want to play with you--that's the amount of leaping up and down and squealing that occurred after I read this story.
"Kill the Child" was an absolutely fascinating take on the moral quandary of adorably creepy demonic children. Great job, Craig Nybo. I am still getting chills from that one!
"The Fourth Sign" by Lawrence C. Connolly--Good lord, I loved this story. It takes place at GenCon game fair and includes illustrations. When I got to the "gotcha" part of this story I literally fell out of my chair. It was so cool the hair stood up on the back of my neck. You got me good, Larry!!
"White Dog, Black Demon" is Danielle DeLisle's very first publicized story. Your demon-fighting pooch made me cry, Danielle! So beautiful.
"Just Desserts" is the end to Michaele Jordan's adventuress character from the earlier Crimson Pact books. I loved her take-no-crap-from-you character. There's an image of a jaw unhinging in this story that I think I'll remember for the rest of my life. Thanks Michaele!
"Red Snow" by Zachary Hill shows the life and death struggle of two WWII female Russian snipers battling a demon. This story was awesome! I loved the characters and spent a number of hours reading about real life female Russian snipers afterward. You rock, Zach!
"Upon the Point of a Knife" showcases Bradley Beaulieu's ability to build a rich, believable fantasy world and tell compelling stories about its characters. This one reminded me of Sleepy Hollow, Dr. Jekel and Mr Hide, and The Devil Goes Down to Georgia. I had Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes flashbacks while reading it, so brace yourself for a badguy who could give Lord Blackwood a run for his money!
"To Kill a Thief" by Stephanie M. Loree--Steph, you knock my socks off. I loved this conclusion to Loree's story from The Crimson Pact Volume Three. Her fantasy world is amazing, with a cool magic system, and memorable nuanced characters--reminds me of Jimmy the Hand from Raymond Feist's Silverthorn in the Riftwar series and Vin from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn. I am not the only reader who's said she would love to see Stephanie write a novel series about this female thief! I was so glad to see these characters make an appearance in Patrick Tracy's "Sealed with Fire" at the end of the book--more on that epic story shortly.
"A Choice of Fate" by Steven Diamond and Larry Correia--damn. If I thought the first stories about Santos and Lazarus Tombs kicked butt, I had seen nothing yet! This story was so very epic!!!!!!! An extremely satisfying conclusion to the set of stories about these Pact characters. It had everything--a world coming apart, love, hide and seek against Cloverfield/Geiger-esque demonic hunters, and the sacrifice of ultimate destiny. Well, well, well worth the time to read this awesome novella.
This brings me to the final story, "Sealed with Fire," by Patrick M Tracy. Patrick. Wow. This final conclusion pulls together characters from all the other Pact stories in a final, no holds barred, everything is on the line, science fiction battle royal with the demons. It was so epic--it reminded me of Stargate, Starship Troopers, and Battlestar Galactica combined. Well, if they had AWESOME POWER ARMOR. I was completely thrilled to see my two characters from "Failsafe" appear here. You may imagine me running around the house in my stocking feet making gatling gun noises and leaping off the sofa--yeah, that's pretty much how it went down.
Thank you all for these awesome, incredible stories, and the other amazing authors I didn't have room to mention in this review (Justin Swapp, your character voices are so strong--I love how they pull me into the story; Kelly Swails, your characters in your series of Pact stories caused me to fall in love with you--you rule; Don Bingle, your story in the very first Pact book addicted me to the rest!; Usman Malik, "Hearts in Reverse," what a choice she has to make! So sad!; Chante McCoy, awesome twist on the genie in the bottle, loved it; and Brad R. Torgersen's druid brought me back to my days of chain reading R A Salvatore's Cleric Quintet; love the twist you give, Brett Peterson, puts demons in perspective) :D
Paul Genesse has assembled an awesome group of stories for this final, epic volume in The Crimson Pact anthology series. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Such a great book--helps me understand why I love the middle book in trilogies. Empire Strikes Back, The Two Towers--there's no reason at all why your...moreSuch a great book--helps me understand why I love the middle book in trilogies. Empire Strikes Back, The Two Towers--there's no reason at all why your trilogy should have a "sagging middle". Often when I'm in the middle of writing a novel I lose energy--all I have to do is remember that the middle is the fun part, meeting friends and enemies along the way that give me more plot threads for later that I can weave into strength. Trials and triumphs, also defeats, spiraling ever upward to set up the final conflict. We loves this book forever, my precious. Yes we do.(less)
The first half of this book was very strange, but I enjoyed the second half. The characters are interesting. L'Engle's said in interviews that she had...moreThe first half of this book was very strange, but I enjoyed the second half. The characters are interesting. L'Engle's said in interviews that she had trouble selling it because it was "too different". I agree, it was quite different. If I'd discovered it as a kid I might have liked it better. (less)