Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blue Kingdoms: Shades and Specters

My Review of Blue Kingdoms: Shades and Specters

Between twilight and dawn, half-glimpsed things lurk in the swirling sea mist, long dead things that have clawed their way out of the darkest abyss, things that were better left entombed.

In this second volume of Blue Kingdoms Stories, you’ll find a host of specters, ghosts, monsters, and more . . . guaranteed to shiver your timbers.

Sail the Azure Sea with a ghoulish crew of tale-spinners who have crafted some scary stories to terrify and delight. Below I’ve written short reviews of the twelve stories.

For those of you who read my first Blue Kingdoms story, “The Pirate Witch,” and wanted more, you should enjoy “The Queen’s Ransom.” It’s the sequel to “The Pirate Witch,” in Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms and features Maeve Tierney, the infamous Pirate Witch herself. If you haven’t read the first one, the second one still makes sense. You get to see that going after your dead ex-husbands treasure is not the best idea—especially when you had a hand in his death. My plan is to use these two stories as the beginning of a novel about Maeve. It’ll be called The Pirate Witch. The third story will be coming out next year and will complete this story arc.

Black Spots by Jean Rabe is a great story. I think it’s the best one in the anthology.
Jean has created an excellent tale that works on all levels. H.P. Lovecraft would be very proud.

The Beacon by Marc Tassin. I loved this story. The characters and the setting were great. I don’t want to give anything away, but Marc is one excellent teller of scary tales.

Book of Life by Dean Leggett—the premise is spooky and who doesn’t want to read about a sentient book? Keep in mind, you want to read about The Book of Life, not read it. Trust me.

Accidental Vengeance by Kelly Swails. I love ghost stories, especially ones involving children. Kelly delivered a heartfelt tale about what happens when a good girl summons a bad one.

Laid To Rest by Kathleen Watness is a grim adventure story with all the good stuff. It features a kick-ass and take names heroine determined to fulfill her duty to a comrade in arms, a diabolical villain of terrible power and plenty of sword-fighting that you won’t want to miss. Bring on the sequel.

The Adventure of the Repose Island Plague Ship, by Jason Mical explores the Blue Kingdoms from a very interesting point of view. The first line is: We vampires hate sea travel. (Yep, it’s a great first line and the story delivers in unexpected ways.)

The Wreckers by Robert E. Vardeman explores piracy close to the coast, when rum was never so important for survival.

Raven’s Wake by Lorelei Shannon is a very scary story and reminds me of a place called Ravenloft—perhaps you’ve heard of it?

Night of the Living Island, by James. M. Ward was a fun story, and features an island you’ll only visit once . . .

The Monster of Mogahnee Bay, by Brandie Tarvin features a noble heroine who ends up with a problem she can’t solve on her own.

The Court of the Blood Red Queen, by Stephen D. Sullivan is all action, all the time. There’s some serious carnage and the story shows what happens when a group of well-armed mariners tangle with someone they probably shouldn’t have. I read the expanded/uncut story in Blue Kingdoms: Zombies, Werewolves, and Unicorns. Let’s just say that the body count is high. Very high.

Get an autographed copy of Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms and Blue Kingdoms: Shades and Specters on my website in the "Works" section.
Thanks for your support!

Paul Genesse

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