Coming Darkness, by Susan-Alia Terry
There's no half measures in this story. Lucifer, werewolves, vampires, mystical Ronin, angels and archangels and all kinds of other weird critters - or Other-kin as they're called - are all in here.
Let's start at the outset - where Lucifer is a decadent being, a lover of luxury and gambling, and with his gay vampire lover by his side.
That lover, Kai, is our chief protagonist, a vampire who avoids drinking blood, unless it's that of his immortal lover, yet who is a lethal killer of those who get in his path. Set on a mission by Lucifer's archangel friend Te, he finds himself taking in Roberta, the hapless secretary under the sway of his target, displaying a sense of honour that shows more virtue than when he kills the wife of that target in cold blood.
Needless to say, there are few real good guys here - even the angels who use Lucifer for their own purposes.
Lies, and politics, and political machinations surround the characters here, so much so that one thing almost becomes overshadowed - the end of the world is coming. And there might not be much that our erstwhile heroes can do about it.
This book is packed full of blood, deceit, violence, sex and more. It's not my kind of book, but for its genre, I suspect it very much hits the mark. It's nice to see such prominent LGBT characters - and mixed in with the vampire and supernatural genres, there will be readers who adore this, I'm sure.
AI rating: 4/5
Available on Amazon.
Dark Flash, by Maria Haskins
Maria Haskins is a helluva writer. Full disclosure here, she's right alongside one of my stories in the Tales From Alternate Earths book, so you might well think I'm biased. I am. In favour of quality.
What I love about Maria's writing is how she is able to create such a big world in such few words.
This collection is all flash fiction - a short and sweet read - but of course in flash fiction you can't do much more than create a vignette, a moment in time, a fragment, right? And then here comes Maria with her first story, The Unicorn, and creates a legend.
I don't know how she does it, but I'm awfully glad she does.
An aside, each of these stories were originally submitted to the Word Count podcast from RB Wood - which I've reviewed over in my podcast column. It too is very well worth your time.
AI rating: 5/5
Available on Amazon.