Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The Permanent Collection comprises those paintings which never leave the Gallery. The beings within these paintings have bargained with the Curator to stay on forever in return for gifting him their powers, resources, or knowledge. They help the Curator in running the Gallery, and provide sustenance for the Curator.
Today’s featured pieces include: The Assistant, about a lonely, misunderstood young man and the unusual new job he is offered by the mysterious curator; The Tycoon is about a rough and powerful man who went missing several years ago, and has every intention of remaining so; Three Kings once walked away from their kingdoms, and now spend their days with each other; The Bastard Son is about a man who once fled betrayal and heartache, and now uses his deadly skills and famous sword to defend the Gallery. And in The Demon Slayer, an angel arrives to find the gallery under attack, and soon one demon is slain while another falls…
I have always loved this concept. The idea of pictures actually being alive and here Megan Derr carries it into an unusual gallery. This is the first Collection with another installment in the works. This one introduces us to Rex upon his entrance into the Gallery. And as he starts to understand it’s peculiarities and occupants, so do we. It’s also presided over by one very special owner.
Rex, who’s identity is key here becomes a thread that ties all the paintings together, along with its owner. It’s a unifying touch that pulls all the stories together as a whole, as well as creates a foundation for the set to follow. I truly loved Rex and wished we knew more of his background. Perhaps that’s coming still in the Semi-permanent Collection Gallery of Stories to follow (the one that he originally played a part in).
Each painting forms very quick tales of passion and love, flashes of depth (a man alone in a tower) to a twist on King Arthur to three Kings…all different in taste. I wanted more of some, not of others. But with another book to come and an overall arc appearing, I’m hopeful that I’ll see more of these occupants as well.
This us just such a juicy novella…it wets your appetite for more. More of these fascinating paintings, more of the owner and Rex of course. And more from Megan Derr. You just can’t go wrong.
Cover art: Aisha Akeju. Not a fan. Most of the paintings in the gallery are formal and this should have reflected that.
Author’s Note: A few of these stories were freebies on my website. All have been edited for re-release and some, like The Tycoon and Three Kings, have undergone significant changes.
Kindle Edition, 65 pages
Published May 9th 2018 by Less Than Three Press, LLC
SeriesThe Gallery #1