Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Cliff Road Chronicles: Tales of the Brotherhood of Darkness

The Cliff Road Chronicles: Tales of the Brotherhood of Darkness

Anne Fraser, Inanna Arthen (editor)

By Light Unseen Media, Sep 21 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9781935303275

The Cliff Road Chronicles is a fitting tribute to the late Anne Fraser whose take on the 1990s urban fantasy is extremely refreshing and showcases how ahead of the sub-genre she was (and still is).. Filled with amusing puns, these contributions provide intriguing relationships and personal tsuris that vamps, mages, druids, werewolves, fairies and humans confront.

“Gideon and Joshua: A Love Story” consists of eleven shorts that start in the mid 1990s to 2006 mostly in Maine in the chronological order they occur; while simultaneously matching when they were released. They are a direct follow-up to the superb vampire novel Gideon Redoak. The key to these entries is that the pair has relationship issues as mortal couples have, but also has additional issues. With Gideon the baron so tense over several crises, his human lover Joshua books them for a few days at Club Undead in the Caribbean. Over their time together, the lovers admit their love for one another, become engaged and marry, but face problems like any couple compounded by the Pope’s condemning gay couples “To Burn In Hell”. The tales end with the stunning twist of “The Lost Boy.”

“The Adventures of the Brotherhood of Darkness” focuses on other members of the "Cliff Road Crowd" with the same concepts in time (from 1998 to 2007) as the Gideon-Joshua tales. In “Daven’s Stream”, Ray Griffin the mage is asked to sit for a spell. While driving Vampire widow Alex Goldanias almost suffers a cardiac even without a heartbeat when his “Fairy Godmother” appears out of nowhere to lecture him. The other four tales range from jocular inanity to taut suspense.

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