- Paperback: 516 pages
- Publisher: Alliteration Ink (March 20, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983263159
- ISBN-13: 978-0983263159
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,119,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Crimson Pact Paperback – March 20, 2011
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What a fun book! Sound silly for an often grim, sometimes morbid, occassionally weird book? It's not. I never knew what would come next as I breezed through the book, devouring each story like tidbits from a buffet. I both hungered for the next story and dreaded the last page, knowing that I'd have to be sated with a single volume.
Many of the stories, especially "Stained with Nightmare Juice" by Mr. Bell and "Hidden Collection" by Sarah Kanning, feel like the beginning of something much bigger and I, for one, hope to see them expanded into novels or just more "episodes".
I highly recommend (and have recommonded to my friends, co-workers and family) this, hopefully, first anthology in the book's demon-infested multiverse.
The introductory tale clarifies the essential situation. In an attempt at destroying demonic invaders, great armies are gathered and a cataclysmic battle is fought, with victory--albeit at a horrendous price--finally going to the human forces. Or so they think. Because, as in all things moral and just, evil often has the power to subvert and overcome, even at the moment of triumph. In "The Failed Crusade," by editor Paul Genesse and Patrick M. Tracy, we discover that precisely this has occurred--that ostensible victory is in fact crushing defeat, as the hordes of demons abruptly withdraw and, siphoning the vast power of death and suffering and pain concomitant with the battle, break through the barriers that separate worlds, systems, dimensions, and universes.
Thus the stage is set for the fifteen short stories and eleven flash fiction stories that make up the collection...tales that range from the atmospheric, to the psychological, to the theological; tales that take as their central figures characters who have chosen to confront evil as well as characters upon whom the choice is forced; tales exploring landscapes as varied as Chicago, New York, and London, landscapes as unassuming as nameless hamlets and isolated farms, landscapes both mythologically rich and technologically overpowering... and extending the sense of strangeness and danger inherent in each into uncharted worlds beyond. With a turn of the page (metaphorically, in the case of the Kindle edition), the stories might abruptly transport readers to the world of Steampunk; or to the Roaring Twenties, complete with gangsters and molls; or to a religious enclave whose sole function is to combat the demons. And each will be as complex, as well-realized, as intriguing as the last...and the next.
The collection promises much and delivers on the promises. And--not incidentally--effectively sets the stage for further volumes of tales. Highly recommended.
The other thing I loved about this book was the mix of short stories and flash fiction. Just when I was ready for a short story, a flash piece would come along and shock me with the quick ending.
The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because it was too dark for my tastes (personal preference). I wanted the demon fighters to have a little more success against the invading hoards.
I'm not a big reader of anthologies, but The Crimson Pact made me want to read more of them.
Most recent customer reviews
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