Philosophy meets mythology in this dark historical vampire tale by Cheryl Anne Gardner. It's the new author's second slender volume, but the first one that I can professionally review — I loved her first book, The Kissing Room, but it didn't have many supernatural elements. (It's kind of about the ghost of a departed husband, but he's more a ghost of the mind than an actual apparition.)
LogoS, at just 56 pages, unravels the complete journey of an immortal soul. "From war ravaged 9 B.C. Germania to modern day London, it is the journey of three people whose lives will be forever changed by faith and fate. ... This is her story: her name is Caliné, and she is the sword in the Shadows."
Caliné is a brittle, hardened character — from her lifetime in brothels to her living deathtime as a blood-drenched, soul-stealing succubus — yet as you read her story in her own words, you can't help but feel for her and hope that everything turns out for her. After all, she never asked to become a cosmic anarchist.
Gardner is a new author without prior professional writing experience, but her words kindle fires in the reader similar to dark, woeful wordsmiths like Ayn Rand, Anne Rice, and Poppy Z. Brite. That's high praise indeed, but it's tempered with a couple of minor reservations: Gardner plays fast and loose with the rules of punctuation, ala e e cummings, or Charles Frazier; and the story's structure is purposely stylized in post-earthquake fashion - the intoxicating words are so beautifully crafted, it might take you a few pages to realize you're in the rubble of Caliné's destructions, not sure of what just happened. Therefore, LogoS is hardly a "beach read" and you might even have to go back and re-read certain passages.
LogoS, though short, packs a powerful wallop. It's highly recommended for fans of dark, morose tales of the supernatural, fans of adult historical fiction, and to anyone who enjoys the novella form.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson