A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Devil Take Me Anthology by authors Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale , Jordan L. Hawk, T.A. Moore , C.S. Poe , Jordan Castillo Price

Standard
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Infernal Affairs by Jordan L. Hawk
I would rate this 4.5 stars.
We meet Ralgath on his first day on the job as a crossroads demon summoned by Chess. In exchange for his soul, Chess gets powers to hunt monsters and vampires. Poor Ralgath never stood a chance against them. Three years after getting demoted, Ralgath gets an opportunity to redeem himself, but he needs Chess to help him since they can track Otherworldly beings as part of their contract. Two demons are missing, but things are not what they seem. Between tracking missing humans and demons, escaping a rabid fan, thwarting an assassin, and fighting an epic battle scene, they fall in love. This made me laugh. Although the sexy times are not explicit and mostly off page, it was clever, well written and has almost everything you could want in a fun short story.
Collared by T.A. Moore
I would rate this 4.25 stars.
This one starts out as hardboiled detective with some Preacher mixed in. It’s gruesome and written well enough to picture it, so be warned. When you watch T.A.’s videos, she sounds so nice. This is really intriguing world-building. Math is the demon who owns Jack’s soul and someone stole something from him so he uses Jack to help him get it back. Imagine the bittersweet torture of having your worst mistake ever, and something you still crave, controlling you forever. This one is as explicit as the last one was circumspect. Jack is now a private detective whom a policeman named Ben comes to for help on the weirdest of his cases–they have their own history. A man is dead, and his wife and daughter are missing. Of course, these are the same case. There are some great plots twists here, and some that didn’t work as well, in my opinion. If you are a horror fan, this will be right up your alley. I enjoyed it, but it was so gross, I’m not sure I would read it again. I would have rated it higher, but what I liked about the writing style of the first part, didn’t seem to be there in the second half.
Counterfeit Viscount
I would rate this 4.25 stars.
The Visount Archibald is leading a double life. Since he’s sold his sold to Nimble, he becomes Archie and descends into the underbelly of the town to pay his due every three months. This allows him to keep his title and have his revenge against his uncle. This is alternative history where Prodigals, the descendants of fallen angels who have been converted by the Church, live alongside humans. A prodigal boy in service to a lord is afraid a fellow servant who’s gone missing was murdered at the Dee Club after its Sunday fights. This was difficult for me to get into; I’m going to chalk this up to the writing choices at the beginning. I started to warm to the MCs and became intrigued by the plot about halfway through. As the author reveals more about Archie’s upbringing, we understand his motives. Although I did see the plot twists coming, I enjoyed reading them. This is not my usual genre and it charmed me in spite of myself, so if it’s your type of thing, I imagine you will be as well.
11:59 by C.S. Poe
I would rate this 4 stars.
Asuka is tricked by the Devil when he sells his soul to help save people from the monsters that come from a world full of nightmares. His world is bleak. One day the Devil needs a favor, and Asuka will risk much to reclaim his soul. Meeting Merrick has shown him how much he has lost from his deal. It is a cold realization, of logic and comprehension rather than a messy emotion. It’s difficult to see how Merrick retains any innocence or hope in this world. He also must seriously like the brusque, strong type. The story is intellectually intriguing though. The Greek mythical elements allow fate (or the Fates?) to give us an epic ending. I missed the emotional elements though.

Wonderland City by Rhys Ford
I would rate this 4.5 stars.
This version of Hell is through the looking glass–think Alice in Wonderland turns into Sin City. After Xander Spade loses his soul to a fallen angel named Az, he gets trapped there as the Queen’s Ace. After the death of the Queen of Hearts, the place goes feral. With the help of the Knave of Hearts, Jean Michel, Xander has to find a missing girl whose presence threatens chaos and his chance to finally go home. This is a clever retelling rich with imagination, with flashes of dark humor.

Dark Favors by Jordan Castillo Price.
I would rate this 4.5 stars.
Johnny Lockheart has been offered the chance to get his soul back from the Devil if he murders a TV star, but her bodyguard Adam is going to have something to say about that. Both of them are Chosen, which means that they trade favors for power and know how the world really works stripped of illusion by the Sight. The flashbacks help us understand how Johnny ends up the way he is, and are well timed to pack a punch. This book makes better use of the idea of evil being seductive, whereas the other books focus on the grotesque, or horror elements. This HEA leaves you with a dreary feeling and will get you in the Halloween mood and reminds me of the feeling I get when I watch a movie called Angle Heart.

I really enjoyed this whole anthology. Of course, anthologies are always a mixed bag and some stories you will always favor over others, but that is subjective for each person. I found this anthology to be pretty even on quality, more so than many anthologies. If you like dark fantasy and horror, I would highly recommend it. What grounds each story is love or something worth fighting for.

The cover art is by Reece Notley. There are so many delightful characters in this, I am not sure why this picture was chosen. It seems a little bland for the subject matter. I believe it fits a scene from the C.S. Poe story.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 450 pages
Expected publication: October 16th 2018 by DSP Publications
Original Title Devil Take Me
ISBN13 9781640808874
Edition Language English

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