Four Summoner’s Tales
by Christopher Golden, David Liss, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Kristina | Source: Edelweiss
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…
SUFFER THE CHILDREN by Kelley Armstrong
This story is heartbreaking and tragic as it demonstrates just how far a town of people are willing to go to save their children. It was shocking how gruesome the story became when the price for raising the townsfolks’ loved ones was. While this story was filled with darkness and blood it had a bittersweet ending for Addie and her foster mother.
A BAD SEASON FOR NECROMANCY by David Liss
Set in 18th century England we follow a scam artist who gets his hands on a book that teaches him how to raise the dead. What follows is a long string of death, reanimation followed by more death, betrayal, and mayhem. I enjoyed the writing style and dark humor in this story.
PIPERS by Christopher Golden
PIPERS was really gruesome with the dead being used as revenge. Like SUFFER THE CHILDREN, PIPERS was about the length a father would go to see his child again even though the consequences of reanimation bring up serious issues of morality. I enjoyed the mix of zombies with Mexican drug cartels; two things I never think to put together and it ends up as horrifyingly blood as a zombie vs drug cartel battle would end. I also liked the little twist at the end which didn’t see coming.
ALIVE DAY by Jonathan Maberry
I am not a huge fan of military fiction even ones with zombies so I didn’t fully enjoy this story. It is set in the Joe Ledger series by Maberry and mixes the occult with military warfare in Afghanistan. It is spooky and has a ton of action. The writing was decent and the plot was intriguing but I probably would have liked it better if it were a different setting without all of the military terminology and lingo.
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