Jaidis Shaw's Reviews > The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair

The Gate 2 by Robert J. Duperre
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Apr 13, 12

Read from April 13 to 16, 2012

The Gate 2 is a compilation of 15 short stories that share the theme of isolation and despair. I was interested in reading this anthology because I have read stories from some of the authors included and others I have on my to-read list. The authors included in this anthology include J.L. Bryan, D.P. Prior, Daniel Pyle, Michael Crane, Steven Pirie, Robert J. Duperre, K. Allen Wood, Mercedes M. Yardley, David McAfee, Joel Arnold, Benjamin X. Wretlind, Dawn McCullough-White, and David Dalglish. I enjoyed each of the stories for various reasons but here are some of my favorites.

This anthology opens with a story titled Plastic and is written by J.L. Bryan. I really enjoyed this story because in my opinion, it gives an accurate look at how our mental state would react to being isolated and alone for extended periods of time. I'd imagine that being alone in the world would make even the sanest person do and say things that they normally wouldn't. The main character Jeremy travels around after everyone else has been claimed by The Cough. We get to see how lonely he is and the lengths he is willing to go to in order to have some sort of companionship.

Another story that I enjoyed was Night Night by Daniel Pyle. The story opens with the main character Henry stabbing his victim. I was intrigued because I was looking for clues as to what drove him to the point of killing. There are various scene breaks that give us a look at Henry's past and his relationship with the person he just killed. I started to dislike Henry until the surprise ending and then I had to ask myself how far would I go to survive if I had been in Henry's position?

39 Days by Robert J. Duperre was another favorite of mine. The story opens with two people, Angela and Tommy, who are stranded on a rooftop due to the city flooding. Divided into days, we get to see how alone Angela and Tommy are while they are waiting to be rescued. With each passing day helicopters come and go, slowly making their way from building to building and rescuing the survivors. With no more supplies, they are forced to brace the rising water and head inside the building to find food while they wait. Are they rescued? You'll have to read it to find out.

The Ghastly Bath by Dawn McCullough-White features a character, Jules, that I first became familiarized with while reading her Trilogy of Shadows series. Jules is an assassin and in this action-packed story, a seemingly simple hit doesn't go quite as planned after he is spotted with the body and his attempt to escape is further hindered by a flash flood.

This anthology stayed true to its title and all of the stories are great examples of isolation and despair. If you like reading darker themed stories, definitely pick this one up.
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