Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: Dreams of Dust

Dreams of Dust by Jeff Shelton-Davis

This is a collection of three short stories closer to the horror side of sf/fantasy without a lot of gore. Each story deals with faith, especially the all-consuming notion of faith, with the results increasing in intensity and destructiveness as we progress through the book. Interestingly, the cast becomes less human as we go from story to story as well.

Devil Come A-Calling: Set in the Wild West with a down on his luck bank robber finding himself in very dire straits with something more evil than he is. This one was the creepiest for me and the darkest, probably because it has people doing horrible things to other people. I do like the late 1800s American West as a setting, so that was a plus.

In His Image: More in your face religious. Intergalactic crusaders trying to conquer an insectoid planet in the name of Christ Pangalactic. Then one of the crusaders tries out the local deities when his god won't bring back his son from the dead. Not my favorite of the three. While the first story had plenty of characters I didn't like, I still really wanted to see them get what was coming to them, and I was satisfied with the end. In this one, the payoff wasn't as big. I just wasn't feeling it.

The Overlord's Dream: Set on a planet inhabited by insectoid creatures living in a hive society. Jubilation at the news that their legendary Messiah-like ancestor is returning soon turns to turmoil as questions over the true nature of this being infect the hivemind. I thought it impressive that even though every character is an insect, I still was pulling for them. And I'm not a big bug-person.

If you are of a certain religious persuasion, this might not be for you (although you probably aren't reading my blog, either). I liked them, although they are a bit darker in tone than my usual. This might not be one to read if you need a pick-me-up after a bad day.

The whole collection is a very quick read, and I did find myself wanting a bit more. Maybe Shelton-Davis will revisit these later. I'll keep an eye out.

[Received an ARC to review.]

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