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Book review: For All Eternity – Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

January 18, 2013

Hearts of Gold illustration by Chaz KempFor All Eternity, from Dark Opus Press, featuring my story ‘Hearts of Gold’ is themed around the seven deadly sins. I was even more pleased than usual to have a story accepted into this anthology as the book only contains seven stories – one story per sin, which makes for intriguing reading.

I really like the concept of this book and when I received my hard copy I was pleasantly surprised to find the interior beautifully formatted and with a fantastic illustration for each story, drawn by the very talented Chaz Kemp.

This is a small but strong collection of stories that differ very much in voice and atmosphere from piece to piece. Three pieces, including ‘Hearts of Gold’ (which tells the story of a 17th century wise woman who should not be crossed) are set in the past. ‘A Fragment of Shadow’ by Renee Carter Hall is probably my favourite piece in the collection (I wish I’d written it!) and is set in the golden age of Venice. Christian Larsen’s ‘The Corpse Road’ tells the terrifying and claustrophobic tale of a prideful Union soldier in the American civil war. One story is set in the future: ‘Zion’ by Michael Beers shows a dystopian vision that’s a little too close to home. The other tales are present-day, although ‘Lecherous’ by Marten Hoyle employs a slightly archaic formal tone that I enjoyed a lot: the voice and old-fashioned horror contrasted effectively with the cautionary tale of internet dating. ‘Deadweight’ by Ken MacGregor has a protagonist who I ended up feeling rather sorry for (I won’t spoil the ending!). ‘Mauschwitz’ by Brandon French was another of my favourites in this collection. It’s a departure from the other pieces in that it isn’t strictly horror – rather a beautifully observed and strangely poignant look at how individuals are different people in different company and how it’s very hard to speak ill of the dead.

 

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