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Sha'Daa: Last Call, edited by Edward .F McKeown Book Review | SFReader.com
Sha'Daa: Last Call, edited by Edward .F McKeown Genre: Horror Anthology Publisher: Altered Dimensions Press Published: 2010 Review Posted: 6/12/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
Sha'Daa: Last Call, edited by Edward .F McKeown
Book Review by Gustavo Bondoni
Have you read this book?
An anthology that delivers on its promise and its premise - and breaks a whole bunch of stuff along the way.
The deluge of shared-world anthologies (one in which each writer's story
takes place under a certain set of circumstances, and the events of one
story are related to those of the rest) has seen a bit of a comeback in
late years, although it hasn't yet reached the levels of the glory
years of the eighties. The premise behind Last Call is that the
Sha'Daa is at hand - a cataclysmic event in which the walls between
dimensions weakens, allowing demons to rampage on the earth once every
ten thousand years, unless selected humans can use their courage and
resourcefulness to thwart them.
The stories themselves tell the individual tales of the people doing the
fighting, everyone from trained sailors to an old man on the verge of
suicide to a blind, deaf girl who is far from helpless must go above and
beyond what they would normally give, in order to save humanity. Tying
it together is the mysterious Johnny, the Salesman, who will intervene
and assist - at a price.
Now, if you're imagining a group of action oriented stories in which the
struggle between good and evil takes place both on the physical and
mental plane... Well, you'd be right. But that simple description
doesn't quite do justice to the stories here. These tales are fun, and
they keep you reading. And if you take a quick peek at the name of the
authors, I think you'll understand why, too. A very, very good list of
writers who know their way around an action story.
As always, there are some stories I liked better than others. My
favorite was probably "A Question of Faith" by Arthur S?nchez, in which
the church itself struggles with its own secret knowledge - and the
different interpretations that individuals might have of it. Not to
mention a rather large demon.
Another good one was Bruce Durham's "Deathstalk", which is probably the
polar opposite: a straight action story where the race is against bad
guys and time, and the atmosphere is about as chilling as they come.
Noteworthy as well was James I. Wasserman's story "The Four Horsemen". A
strong closing tale, and one with more than it's share of twists and
turns, following the format of a serial killer story in which the cop
herself isn't quite working for the forces of good.
I could go on. The stories were all even and well-written, and
unusually, there were none that I could point out as weaker than the
Artwork was also a high point, at least for me. They included dread
monsters and beautiful women - although I'll admit that some might find
them a bit over the top. People who are offended by certain portrayals
of feminine beauty (always clothed, though) would do well to avoid this
one. I'd say that the cover would be a good guide to the artwork
Finally, I'd also have to point out that those readers who don't
particularly like action-adventure stories will not enjoy this book.
This one worries more about how to deal with evil than on the great
philosophical questions. It does so very well, but I know that might
not be to everyone's taste.
In conclusion, this is one for when you are in the mood to be
entertained by a group of excellent storytellers stretching their
imagination to the depths to give us horrendous monsters - and great
deeds of courage.
Click here to buy Sha'Daa: Last Call, edited by Edward .F McKeown on Amazon