Format Read: eGalley
Source: The publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Four terror-inducing novellas from acclaimed bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, and Jonathan Maberry beginning with the premise: “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price.”
In Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children,” an acute diphtheria outbreak kills most of the children in an isolated village in nineteen-century Ontario. Then a stranger arrives and offers to bring the children back to life. He wants money, of course, an extravagant sum, but more importantly, but for each child resurrected, one villager must voluntarily offer his life...
In David Liss’s “A Bad Season for Necromancy,” a con man on the margins of eighteenth-century British society discovers a book that reveals the method for bringing the dead back to life. After considering just how far he would go to avoid bringing his violent father back, he realizes the real value of this book. Instead of getting people to pay him to revive their departed, he will get people to pay him not to...
In “Pipers” by Christopher Golden, the Texas Border Volunteers wage a private war against drug smuggling by Mexican cartels in a modern-day South Texas town, complete with an indestructible army of the risen dead...
In “Alive Day” by Jonathan Maberry, a US Army sergeant must dive into the underworld of modern-day Afghanistan to try and barter for the release of his team, never dreaming of the horrors that await him...
One theme, developed in different ways by different writers. There are variations on the theme of course. Liss's story starts with the stranger offering NOT to raise the dead, for a price, while in Maberry's story, the dead raised are themselves strangers to the area. Still, it's an intriguing premise and each author handles it differently.
Suffer the Children - Kelley Armstrong's story was the reason I requested this book. Unfortunately, I saw most of the twists coming though there were a couple that surprised. The suspense and urgency I expected were missing but it was a decent story. It's a dark story, with people willing to do horrible things in the name of love, and a young girl who comes to understand what love really is.
Pipers - This was violent and twisty, and kept me reading to the end.The ending left me going "WHAT?" and then I realized it made sense and I was kicking myself for not having seen it coming. Again, what people are willing to do in the name of love is horrific and yet, some of us might make similar choices.
A Bad Season for Necromancy - This one was also violent, and the main character is not always likable. Just when he seemed sympathetic, he'd do or say something reprehensible; it made him interesting. The twists were a mix of predictable and unexpected. Like "Pipers", I kept reading to the end.
Alive Day -I've heard good things about Maberry so I was looking forward to this story. Another twisty story, and told from two different points of view, this one just didn't appeal to me. I did like the use of old mythologies and vengeful demons but I just couldn't get into the story and several times I almost gave up on it. It's not an easy story to read and maybe on a different day, I might have enjoyed it more. It's not a bad story, just not right for me.