Friday, April 23, 2010
I've decided that each Friday I will review three stories from the A Brush of Wings anthology in an effort to keep myself from binging. It's harder than it sounds because you want to see what's next. But if I skip a few days it will help.
In the Hands of the Gods by Jana Denardo (22 pages)
A Voice in the Darkness by Patric Michael (28 pages)
Some Comfort by S. Blaise (9 pages)
Last time all three stories had a similar theme and these I found had more variety.
In the Hands of the Gods - This is set in Pompeii. Tiberius is the lone surviving member of his family and is a wealthy olive oil merchant. At a friend's party he meets Priscus. He and Priscus, who is visiting from Rome, start a taboo relationship (same social status is a no-no). Priscus finally convinces Tiberius to pack up his household and come to Rome for a while and start business there. While enroute, Vesuvius blows. Seems Priscus is more than he seems and Tiberius devout care of the household god served him well. I really enjoyed this as I've not read anything set in that time and reading about the gym and the bath and sort of daily life as interesting for me. Not a traditional angel story as they didn't really have angels then I suppose.
A Voice in the Darkness - Landon and his husband Bryce are on their way home from finalizing their adoption of a young boy when they are caught in a land slide and their car is crushed. Landon wakes up to himself and Bryce injured and a good Samaritan Danyel talking to him from outside the car. Danyel encourages him to help Bryce and to try and get them out before another rock falls and crushes them. At the last minute help arrives but there is no sign of Danyel. Who was he? I quite liked this as it used Landon's memories of their fight to adopt their little guy and while Bryce was unconscious for the story you got to know him through Landon's memories and feeling the desperation as Landon tried to save them and Danyel's calm presence was well done.
Some Comfort - Dale is home from Iraq and feeling a bit out of place. He's hanging at an ice rink when Mal, who saved his life in Iraq shows up out of the blue. Mal had always told him that he needed someone to look out for him and had taken on the task. They talk for a while and when Dale doesn't want to be with his family they hang out and Mal soothes Dale and tells him he's destined for great things. Dale falls asleep and Mal vows to protect and watch over him. This was a sweet story although it left me feeling a bit sad for Mal and I would have loved to read more about them both. It was only 9 pages but you got the sense of Mal's love for Dale and what I sensed was the futility of this love. So I would have loved to see them get a HEA otherworldly being or not. :-)
As I said, the first two had a different theme from the last ones I read which was a refreshing change and while the third one had the angel offering comfort theme it was done differently, I guess in a more benign manner. Have a heavenly weekend everyone.