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review 2014-07-29 19:16
The Exiled by William Meikle
The Exiled - William Meikle

I finished this book last night and, honestly, I'm angry at myself for not getting to it sooner. The instant I picked up The Exiled, I was lost to the world. I was drawn into a new place. One where castles loom on mountains, and darkness flies on feathered wings. William Meikle has created a beautifully original story that is a mix of Scottish mythology, crime thriller and a bit of horror for good measure. This is a dark story, to be sure, but one I truly enjoyed. I'm impressed.


John Granger and his brother Alan were excellent characters. Both strong, stubborn, and about as noble as they come. I loved that John and Alan were on two different sides of the spectrum when it came to their jobs. John as a detective. Alan as a reporter. Each of them seeking the same answers in their own way. I watched as they slowly fell down the rabbit hole, and still managed to stay themselves. Be warned, these two are tough not to get attached to. 


This richly detailed story pulls the reader into a place beyond the world we know. One where darkness is spreading, and our two unlikely heroes are the only ones who can stop it. It's filled with twists and turns, plus an ample amount of very descriptive violence. If you're not okay with dismembered body parts being described in detail? You might want to tread lightly. I can, however, promise that there is a lot of beauty in this story too. I was amazed at how flawlessly this transitioned from a crime story, to a fantasy story, and back again.


I wish I could say more, but I don't want to risk spoiling a moment of this for potential readers. This is a gorgeously written book, and one that I'm glad I read! If you enjoy dark fantasy, give this one a space on your reading list.


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review 2014-03-22 22:30
Broken Sigil
Broken Sigil - William Meikle

Part horror, part noir, this novella was one heck of a ride. Joe Connors is an Internal Affairs officer. He's called to a shooting, only to find that the victim was his former best friend. Killed by a single bullet. Sound shady? Joe thinks so. Thus begins his descent into a dark place, filled with more pain than I was ready for. I devoured this story.


Broken Sigil has a lot going for it. It borrows it's base from The Maltese Falcon, and adds some paranormal goodness to the mix. This is the type of story that sucks you in, and makes you forget that the characters aren't real people. I felt for Joe. I empathized with him, and the amount of emotional turmoil rolling off of him was palpable. This is a tragic story of loss. Of guilt, and how it eats away at your soul. A story of how sometimes you wish you could just let it all go.


I'm impressed! This is only the second short story I've read by William Meikle, but I now know that his writing packs a definite punch. I'll be on the lookout for more.

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review 2014-03-22 22:10
DarkFuse #1
DarkFuse #1 (DarkFuse Anthology Series) - William Meikle;Michael Penkas;William R. Eakin;E. G. Smith;Gary McMahon;Christopher Fulbright

This is a compilation of six short stories, which were all pretty amazing! See my individual reviews below.


She Sleeps in the Depths by William Miekle

This story has great atmosphere. Fallon is our main character, a simple man at heart. When he suddenly begins to hear a haunting melody, that follows him and won't let him go, he heads out to investigate. I loved that William Miekle gave Fallon a female counterpart. I also loved that what they discovered was so unexpected. (4/5)


Better Heard and Not Seen by Michael Penkas

What is more easy to relate to than the childhood fear of a monster in your closet? Michael Penkas takes this story, and adds his own little twist. I found goosebumps rising on my skin as I eagerly devoured this story. Maybe we should believe our kids when they say there's something in their room. Maybe we should. (4/5)


Carrion Fowl by William R. Eakin

This was was a bit of a miss for me. People in a small town are suddenly transformed into cannibalistic half human, half birds. No explanation how, they just are. There wasn't much build up in this story, and it was a little jumpy in its writing style. Still, it has its own level of creep factor to it. (3/5)


Jaws of Life by E.G. Smith

By far, my favorite story of the bunch! A salesman's car barrels over a cliff and he ends up trapped, upside down at the bottom. He wanted help, but what he encounters? Not exactly the kind of help he was looking for. This story had an oily feel to it. The kind that crawls under your skin and let's you know that something nasty is coming around the corner. Oh, and it did. (5/5)


Netherview by Gary McMahon

On a whim, a couple decides to visit a new housing development that's going up... on the site an old asylum. When will people learn? What follows is a fight to escape, and to survive. I liked the fact that this story doesn't show its hand all at once. It builds on your fear, and your tension. (4/5)


Children of the Horned God by Christopher Fulbright

When a horned creature snatches a man's wife, he goes on the hunt to find her. What he finds is much more than bargained for. I think this story had a lot of potential. It almost felt like one of those 80's movies that you love to watch, but is filled with cheesy parts that make you giggle. A guilty pleasure all its own, and still fun to read. (4/5)

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