The Crow by Leslie W P Garland


The Crow by Leslie W P Garland
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Historical
Length: Short Story (71 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The Crow: A sad, poignant story of misunderstanding, bitterness and blame.
“Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.”

This story, which centres on our almost desperate desire to leave something to mark our lives upon this earth, is told as a history recounted by Dave, of the time when he, as a child, was taken by his mother to a hospice where he met a dying and embittered old Irish priest known as Mad Father Patrick, who told him about the school days and subsequent rise of a local councillor, Reginald Monday, and of his (Monday’s) involvement in the construction of a dam which flooded a valley. Father Patrick’s increasingly mad tale is told with a blend of biblical quotations, philosophical musings and wild fantasy, but how does it end and just why is he so bitter?

The difference between a hero and a villain isn’t always as clear cut as it might seem.

Small town politics can be extremely complicated. One of my favorite parts of this tale was how much effort the characters put into explaining why certain issues were so sensitive for the people who lived in the community where this all took place. It actually made me wonder for a moment if this was based on real events because of how true to life some of the scenes were. They genuinely felt like the kinds of grudges and quiet but stubborn conflicts that I’ve seen played out over many years in other rural places.

There were some pacing issues in the beginning. The narrator spent the first third of the story introducing everyone and explaining how they all knew each other. While I liked having so many details, it didn’t leave quite enough room for all of the exciting things that happened once Dave started to dig deeply into his conversation with Father Patrick. I would have liked to have more time to sort through the conflicting theories about Reginald’s life after they were revealed.

Once the introductions were finished and the pace picked up, though, I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. Reginald’s involvement with the dam lead to a tragedy that the community talked about for many years afterwards. I was haunted by the various theories about what happened that day and whether or not he should have been blamed for the outcome. While I can’t say much else about this part of the plot without giving away spoilers, it was thought-provoking and it did help to ease my earlier frustration with not knowing what was going on.

This is part of “The Red Grouse” series, but it can be read on its own or out of order.

The Crow should be read by anyone who is in the mood for a slow-burning book that pays off nicely in the end.

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton


Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery, Horror
Length: Full Length (708 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Multiple Partners, Menage
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Ever have a book that gripped you so hard that it sucked you right into the author’s world and your own faded away? That’s what Crimson Death did to me. I only did the bare minimum of household chores. I read late into the night until it flipped to morning, grabbed a few hours of sleep only to wake up a few hours later to devour a few more chapters before having to slog off to work to simply come home to read and read some more until almost midnight the next night. Yeah, so, it took me two days to read, but what an amazing two days it was.

I’ve been following this series for years. I’ve watched Anita view everything as black and white; a character was either good or bad, no quarter. Monsters were bad, humans could be bad too but they were human. As the series unfolds, the heroine realizes that she can no longer ignore the ‘gray’ areas; life is a LOT more complicated, and messy and as she grows, Anita realizes that gray areas not only exist, they’re huge. It opens her up to accepting and doing things she never, ever, in a million years would think or do. Following her has been an amazing journey and that journey continues in Crimson Death. Sure, there are original fans that prefer her early years when it was all about the mystery, the horror, the suspense, drama and how it affected her. I mean, first person point of view really gets into a character’s head and the author has the daunting job of staying there. Ms. Hamilton has done Anita for so long, it seems second nature – I’m always right there with Marshall Blake, even when the blood flows.

This huge novel is no different when it comes to exploring her growth, both in her personal life and in her power. Yes, there is large section that explores Anita’s power’s connection to sex within her small group of loves and lovers, but before anyone scoffs at all the sex, be aware that there are a few astounding and earth shattering revelations that ripple through the rest of the novel stemming from all that erotic sex, which includes just a smidgen of voyeurism and exhibitionism from one of mine and Anita’s favorite people. Another warning to die-hard fans – be prepared to sniffle or cry or just get serious goosebumps on what happens. The one huge tragedy that affected me the most ends up being a turning point in Anita’s life that will have ginormous ramifications for future books. I didn’t want it to happen. All I could say was ‘no! no! no!, but of course Ms. Hamilton excels at writing the hard scenes – scenes for which a reader ultimately comes to the sad but resigned conclusion that it served a valid, crucial and necessary purpose. I don’t have to like it but I recognize Ms. Hamilton is staying true to Anita’s journey.

A lot of my favorite recurring secondary/primary characters populate this novel. There is one new character that sheds some light on Edward/Ted. It was actually humorous at times, which I didn’t expect at all. I think Anita was just as bemused as I was. Thing is, she has the ability to pester him in future books to satisfy her curiosity. I’m looking forward to what she finds out.

Of course the main villain and cohorts are truly evil, nasty, horrific, sociopathic and creepy. However, not all the cohorts are there willingly and how the author dealt with them kept my heart pounding with dread. This is such a powerfully, well written book, I could not remain unaffected.

This isn’t truly a standalone read because some of the things that occur are at their most commanding and powerful if a reader is personally vested in caring for certain characters from previous stories. If a person were to just start with this book, there are mentions of past experiences that provide Anita with the power she currently has, and they might be shocked by how erotic and numerous the sex initially is, but the main mystery of trying to figure out who or what is making all these vampires and why, can carry this novel by itself. It also might capture new fans and they might be inspired to read the series from the beginning or at least a few of the books that were alluded to in this one.

I am a fan of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, and I highly recommend this novel to fans that’ve followed her all this time. Crimson Death wowed me to the point that writing this review was a compulsion. I just HAD to tell you how marvelous and incredible Crimson Death was, and recommend it to readers with high praise and accolades.

Horror in Jordan’s Bank by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley


Horror in Jordan’s Bank by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley
Deadraiser Series Part 1
Publisher: Someday Productions LLC.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (177 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Necromancy is an ancient black magic used for the purposes of communing with the dead. It is believed that practitioners of the dark art may harness the ultimate power of life and death and raise the departed for their own nefarious, malevolent purposes. It also is alleged that a true necromancer may realize the ultimate gift of mortality.

DEADRAISER is the tale of a present-day practitioner who achieves what others have been unable to do for centuries — to raise the dead. The problem is that he must sacrifice innocent victims in order to maintain his power.

Enter Fanchon (Frankie) Manning, daughter of the late movie star Erika Manning. She is the ideal sacrificial lamb for the Necromancer’s perverse desires. The only thing that stands between the Necromancer and the girl is Christopher McGuire, a lost soul who long ago has ceased believing in anything. In order to save the child, he must somehow rediscover his faith and summon the courage to take on the darkest, most sinister being imaginable.

Every small town has its secrets and Jordan’s Bank may have more than most.

For generations, horror has plagued Jordan’s Bank from the shadows. Now, with the homecoming of Frankie Manning, the daughter of the late movie star Erika Fanning, that is about to change. This is a story of real evil in our time and those that must confront it directly.

The authors do a fantastic job at taking stories that we have head in passing and bringing them together in a real story. The town of Jordan’s Bank sits almost in a bubble, separated from the passage of time. Life move slowly here, and this is just what the authors built on. Moving from the fast paced life, Frankie and family friend Christopher McGuire, adjust to the change in pace. Yet, the authors build around the dark horrors that the residents of Jordan’s Banks have seen, and often willingly committed.

This is the first novel in the series, and one that most readers will find very difficult to put down. The deep backgrounds, the flashbacks and the strong plotline tie the story together to keep the reader wondering what will happen next. The authors do a great job making the small town isolation feel “real” even in today’s modern age. This is definitely a horror story that has a modern feel but still transports the reader back in time with the fear of isolation.

The interactions between characters are very intense. The small town “us versus them” and distance to outsiders is very present, making the reader constantly guess who is behind what, or why information is not shared. This is a great study in small town life and fears of change, not only with the horror aspect, but with the ongoing fear of outsiders that the authors make so clear. In the end, the reader begins to wonder who, if anyone, in the small town can be trusted!

This is one modern horror story that you do not want to miss!

The Golden Tup by Leslie W P Garland


The Golden Tup by Leslie W P Garland
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (88 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The Golden Tup: A dreadful tale of a young couple’s paradise being cruelly taken from them by latent evil.

“But whom sent I to judge them?”

Can evil be in a place? The tale opens with Verity, a farmer’s wife, recalling how a young couple were arrested a few years previously for killing their new born baby. How could such a nice young couple have done such a dreadful thing? Through a series of flashbacks we learn how they had created their rural idyll, how an enigmatic man had come into their lives and how their idyll and relationship had gradually fallen apart – how, with references to Milton’s Paradise Lost, their paradise was lost. Gradually the young wife reveals a dreadful past, but Verity realises that she is holding something back, but what? What is the terrible truth that caused her and her husband to kill their baby?

Small communities have long memories. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on what they’re remembering.

Gossip is everywhere. One of my favorite parts of the plot was when it showed just how eager some people are to believe anything they’re told as well as to spread it along to as many of their friends as possible. This wasn’t a topic I was at all expecting to see mentioned in a horror tale, so it was fascinating to see how the author tied together everything together. It is yet another reason why I enjoy his tales so much.

I would have liked to have a few more details about Constance and Matthew’s reaction to the evil they encountered. This was such an important part of the plot that I was a little surprised that it wasn’t given more attention. I always enjoy the challenge of figuring out what a narrator is hinting at without being directly told what’s going on, but I would have loved it even more if I’d had a few more hints to work with here.

With that being said, this is one of the scariest stories I’ve read in ages. One of the things I appreciate the most about Mr. Garland’s work is how much time he gives his characters to reveal their deepest secrets to the audience. This is the kind of horror that slowly sneaks up on a reader, and that makes it so much fun to read. I actually found myself getting more frightened after I’d finished the last scene and started thinking about that strange farm where Matthew and Constance lived again. There were so many details of their lives there that became much more alarming once I knew how those things fit together and what they meant. Sometimes there’s a good reason why old buildings have been abandoned, after all!

This book is part of the Red Grouse series, but it can be read on its own or out of order.

Give The Golden Tup a try if you’re in the mood for something bone-chillingly creepy.

The Dogs of Devonshire by Demetrius Sherman


The Dogs of Devonshire by Demetrius Sherman
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Dr. Sacker gets a phone call that could get him killed. Sacker’s consulting detective friend invites him to a dangerous case. Something attacks like a wild beast and disappears. And to stop the killings, the two must come face to face with whatever is out there.

Dogs don’t usually attack people for no reason. The question is, why are these particular dogs so vicious?

The idea of being violently attacked by a dog in a public place frightens me. As soon as I read the blurb for the story, I couldn’t wait to find out why this was happening and if Sheridan Hope and Dr. Sacker would be able to figure out a way to stop it before more victims were killed or seriously injured. The more that I learned about this case, the more interested I became in seeing how it would end as well.

There were pacing issues. The narrator spent a disproportionate amount of time introducing the characters and describing the death of the first victim in this case. As fascinated as I was by all of this information, it didn’t leave much room in the plot for the characters to uncover new clues or for them to piece everything together.

One of the things I liked the most about this tale was how much attention the narrator gave to little details when he was describing how the victims were attacked.Those scenes were bloody and full of fear. The pain and horror of them made me cringe at times, but knowing exactly what happened to the people who were targeted by the dogs was important for figuring out where these creatures came from and why they were so dangerous.

I’d recommend The Dogs of Devonshire to anyone who is looking for a dark mystery.

Wrathbone and Other Stories by Jason Parent


Wrathbone and Other Stories by Jason Parent
Publisher: Comet Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (160 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Terror follows those who let it into their hearts.

Wrathbone

Guests of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris attend a showing of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. On that fateful night, a great man falls, but he is not alone. For Henry and Clara, the night is only the beginning of lives wrought with jealousy, madness, and horror.

The Only Good Lawyer

Bradley is a savvy defense attorney with no scruples. Under his representation, many a guilty man has gone free. But when a voodoo priest takes the stand, Bradley soon discovers that he, too, is on trial, and the punishment for guilt may be more than he could bear.

Dorian’s Mirror

Dorian loves himself, and why wouldn’t he? Every guy wants to be him, and every girl wants to be with him. He would trade all he has to make his looks last forever, but bargaining with the devil may leave him short a soul.

For the Birds

Nev’s best friend is his parrot. In fact, it’s his only friend… and his only ally when his home is invaded.

Revenge is a Dish

Maurice has landed a dream job, chef for a rich couple on their yacht. The wife has carnal desires for him. Maurice has some carnal desires of his own.

Who would have imagined that thoughts could be this scary?

The main character in “Wrathbone” was a man named Henry who was dangerously obsessed with the strange circumstances surrounding the death of President Lincoln. What I liked the most about him was how much time he spent talking about his theories about what really happened when the president died and what he wished he would have done differently that day. I can’t say much else about this part of the plot without giving away spoilers, but it sure did bring out a chilling side to the main character’s life. It was also interesting to compare the logical and supernatural explanations for why Henry behaved the way he did. There was plenty of evidence for both interpretations of what was going on, so I was able to pick the one I personally thought made for a better story.

One of the first things I noticed about Bradley in “The Only Good Lawyer” was how determined he was to fight for the accused murdered he was defending. This character had a strong desire to win that shaped so many different parts of his personality. I was also surprised by how meekly he reacted to the voodoo priest who was called to the stand by the prosecution. It wasn’t something I was expecting from him at all, but that scene made me incredibly curious to find out what actually happened the night the victim died and if Bradley’s assumptions about what going on with the priest were true. This was my favourite tale in the collection.

Dorian, the main character in “Dorian’s Mirror,” wasn’t an easy guy to like at all. His arrogance and narcissism gave me such a negative first impression of him that I struggled to stay interested in his life. It would have been nice if the narrator’s description of him had included positive or even neutral aspects to it as well to balance Dorian out a bit. With that being said, I enjoyed seeing how he reacted to all of the bizarre things that began happening to him. They were so out of the ordinary that his horrified responses made perfect sense.

The relationship between a man and his parrot is like nothing else on earth. In “For the Birds,” Nev’s bond with his bird, Joji, is tested by a violent robbery in ways that have to be read to be believed. The dialogue was by far my favorite part of their home invasion. I never would have guessed that a parrot spoke and understood as many different words as Joji did. Including a non-human character who was this talkative was such a creative decision.

“Revenge Is a Dish” followed a man named Maurice after he made the biggest mistake of his career by accepting his dream job as a chef on a yacht and then having an affair with the boss’ wife. The best part of this one was how the plot kept on moving every time I was sure I’d reached the end. There were a lot of grisly surprises tucked into it, and that made it a great deal of fun to read.

I’d recommend Wrathbone and Other Stories to anyone who is in the mood for something truly frightening.

Ayahuasca by Jonathan Huls


Ayahuasca by Jonathan Huls
Publisher: Duvinchi Media Group
Genre: Contemporary, horror
Length: Full Length (244 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Best friends since childhood, Damien and Paxton are going on a college graduation trip of a lifetime to the jungles of Peru. Their adventures along the way will culminate in a night of consuming the mind-altering drug ayahuasca – the most potent DMT based hallucinogen known to man. Will the experience expand their consciousness and change them into the men society beckons? Or will the young men’s shadowy backgrounds turn the trip so dark that it will consume them and everyone around them?

Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? How about a journey that will change your whole perception of the world?

Ayahuasca is a horror story based on the human mind. While the story starts off with a bang, the reader begins to see the inner workings of the minds of Damien and Paxton. Quite quickly the reader realizes that something is not right. These two young men come from a world of affluence and influence where money is limitless. This all leads to a college graduation party of epic proportions.

Yet, the reader does not quite realize what is in store or what the two men have planned. Flashbacks along the way start to show how the two men, who became young friends many years ago, began to see the world in a much more dark and twisted manner than most. Stretching the limits of their own humanity, the two young boys begin a torturous journey towards adulthood. With little social regard for what makes us human, the boys manage to duck out of trouble but continue their dark ways. Even when the boys create the Firebox, the risk of getting caught was downplayed by the horrors that the boys learned that they could control.

Jonathan Huls writes a fascinating tale of lust, imperfection, psychosis and a wicked and wild drug called Ayahuasca. From the first encounter with the drug, visions and hallucinations of a talking jackalope haunt Paxton and warn him of a dangerous future. Flashbacks to the past show the reader just how deeply this psychosis and issues in both the lives of Damien and Paxton are woven.

Although Ayahuasca utilizes strong language, extremely graphic descriptions of violence and very graphic depictions of death, this is a fantastic of what happens in the minds of those who may have a predisposition to be mentally imbalanced and when that imbalance is fed directly with horrors and inhumanity-the result can be horrifying.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers and dark horror stories, I highly recommend Ayahuasca. This story will have you thinking twice about your own mental limits!

Corrosive by J. Kariuki


Corrosive by J. Kariuki
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (78 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A former foster child now car washer, Stan, harbors dreams of professional photography. The baffling peeling of his flesh, however, magnified by dire poverty and a thieving lover, worsens the reticent twenty-seven-year-old’s situation: after a painful day at the car wash and later in the city taking photographs, Stan is overcome by the accruing pain in his flesh.

He rushes into an alley to hide his disgrace. But there, his seclusion proves fatal: after a chase and a brutal assault by the homeless of the alleys, Stan discovers mysteries held by his flesh, whereupon are two dead vagabonds, new flesh and a contract from a chummy photo agent.

All indications now point to wealth, joy, and fulfillment; but instead, what follows Stan are revelations, heartbreak, death, absorbed flesh and a livid creature of fire.

The worst thing about feeling trapped is that it makes all kinds of everyday decisions much harder than they should be. If only Stan knew if there was a way out of the life he wished he could change.

The flashbacks to the main character’s childhood were some of my favorite scenes in this tale. While I can’t say anything about that part of his past without wandering into spoiler territory, I’m glad that the author spent as much time as he did showing how Stan had ended up with such a difficult life as an adult. That really helped me to get to know this character well.

There were certain aspects of Stan’s flesh disease that never quite made sense to me. I would have liked to know more about when and how it started. There were a couple of hints pointing to the idea that he’d been dealing with the problem for a long time, but there were other hints that this was possibly a new development in his life. Either explanation would have worked perfectly well for me. I simply wanted to know which theory was true as they would have changed how I interpreted at least one conversation he had with someone else in the storyline.

This was one of the goriest horror stories I’ve read in a long time. What I found most interesting about the sections that described the terrible condition of Stan’s skin was how much attention Mr. Kariuki paid to the smallest detail of what was happening to this character’s body. It was definitely strong at times, but it also pulled me into storyline in ways that wouldn’t have happened if any of it had been held back.

I’d recommend Corrosive to anyone who loves grisly science fiction.

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One by John Brhel and J. Sullivan

gates
At the Cemetery Gates: Year One by John Brhel and J. Sullivan
Publisher: Cemetery Gates Media
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Holiday, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full Length (168 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Twin brothers enter a funeral parlor as a gag and end up uncovering a sinister operation.

A mysterious illness plagues a small town and a college student seems to be the only one trying to stop it.

A girl’s time-lapse photo project reveals an intruder from the cemetery that shares a fence with her backyard.

The world is full of strange things that we’re only beginning to understand.

What I liked the most about “A Tale of Palpable Violence” was that it was full of intrigue. Sherry and Bram, the main characters, were driving down the road after a night that got their blood pumping. I couldn’t figure out if I was more curious to know what they’d done or where they were going to go next. Both questions were at the forefront of my mind as I searched for clues and answers. The clever twist at the end only made me enjoy this one even more.

All of the stories in this collection had great premises, although there were a handful of them that could have used a little more development. “New Year’s Eve, What a Gas” was one example of this. The storyline followed a young couple, James and Claire, who invited several other couples over for a New Year’s party. While working in the kitchen, Claire suffered a terrible and mysterious injury. The ending to their tale was a bit confusing to me because there weren’t many details about how she was able to get into that predicament in the first place. Her injuries were something that I’d never expect to happen to any reasonably intelligent adult, so I would have liked to spend more time exploring why they happened to her. If not for minor issues like these, I would have chosen a much higher rating for this collection as it was otherwise really good.

In “The Hermit of Russian Lake,” Keith and Becky Lane tried to rekindle their struggling marriage during a family vacation. While on their trip, Keith accidentally stumbled across a hermit who has been illegally squatting in the area for decades. All of the plot twists that happened after that scene were what made me love this tale. I didn’t see any of them coming, so it was a lot of fun to discover them. They constantly kept me wondering what would happen to Keith next and the hermit next.

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One should be read by anyone who enjoys surprises. This anthology is full of them!

Cat O’Nine Tales by Krystal Lawrence

cat
Cat O’Nine Tales by Krystal Lawrence
Publisher: Telemachus Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (240 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

What evil dwells within the pretty lady next door or the ordinary house cat?

What happens when you pursue your dreams into the desert after dark?

Beware the man borne of your imagination. He could seek vengeance on the one who created him.

Visit a bookstore offering a most alluring and sinister service.

Journey to the dark side with ten twisted tales of horror, malevolence, and the truly uncanny.

The world is full of strange things that we’re only beginning to understand.

My favorite story by far was “As the Crow Flies.” Brianna, the main character, had just gotten out of an abusive relationship when she noticed that the crows she’d been feeding were beginning to do increasingly unexpected things. The character development for both Brianna and the birds she doted on was really good. I also enjoyed seeing how she reacted once she realized that her feathery friends understood far more about her predicament than she would have ever guessed.

There were a few tales that could have used some more polishing, and “The Perfect Crime” was one of them. It followed a man named Claude who had been planning his wife’s murder for years. He took the time to meticulously go through every detail before the night of her death. While I really enjoyed the premise, I knew exactly how it was going to end by the time I’d finished the first scene. The twist at the end was something that would have worked great in a much shorter format. Dragging it out didn’t make sense to this reader because of how easy it was to guess how it would end.

In “The Wife Next Door,” Kate’s friendship with Tom and Penny, her next-door neighbours, develops in an unusual way. She was a fascinating and complex character. What I enjoyed the most about Kate was how much time she spent holding back certain details of her life from the audience. There was a lot more going on with the plot than I would have originally guessed, and that made it a pleasure to read.

I’d recommend Cat O’Nine Tales to anyone who likes the dark side of science fiction.