Four bestselling authors. One hellraising premise. What if the dead could be summoned from their graves—for a price? What if a quartet of distinctive storytellers took a stab at this deceptively simple idea—on a dare? The answers lie here, in Four Summoner’s Tales, as these acclaimed writers accept the challenge and rise to the occasion—in four brilliantly chilling ways. It’s...
Four bestselling authors. One hellraising premise.
What if the dead could be summoned from their graves—for a price? What if a quartet of distinctive storytellers took a stab at this deceptively simple idea—on a dare? The answers lie here, in Four Summoner’s Tales, as these acclaimed writers accept the challenge and rise to the occasion—in four brilliantly chilling ways. It’s all in the execution. . .
“SUFFER THE CHILDREN” BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG,#1 New York Times bestselling author
A preacher and his adopted daughter must solve the mystery of the newcomers to their isolated 19th century village—men who are preying on residents' overwhelming grief with promises to bring the stricken back to life.
“PIPERS” BY CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN, New York Times bestselling author
Twenty-three people have already lost their lives to the ruthless cartel terrorizing their small Texas border town. But one man has a plan for revenge, if the town’s survivors will let him use their loved ones—to raise an army of the undead.
“A BAD SEASON FOR NECROMANCY” BY DAVID LISS,National bestselling author
In merry old England, a rascally con man stumbles upon a book for raising the dead. But instead of using it to make money by reviving relatives for the rich, he'll do just the opposite. Because some family skeletons need to stay buried.
“ALIVE DAY” BY JONATHAN MABERRY, New York Times bestselling author
In war-torn Afghanistan, a U.S. military operative and his team face off against an ancient horror during a harrowing off-the-books search-and-rescue mission.
Powered by adept story-crafting skills, this anthology of novellas delivers limited thrills, but it does successfully showcase four prominent authors’ inventive takes on a central theme: “A strange visitor comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price.” The worthy, if not terribly satisfying, “Suffer the Children” from Armstrong (the Otherworld series) follows the prompt most literally, with actual strangers, and an actual town. “Pipers” from Golden (The Graves of Saints), about the victims of a Mexican drug cartel becoming a vengeful undead army, has a jarringly sepia-hued evocation of Texas border life. Maberry recruits his own series lead, Joe Ledger, for “Alive Day,” perhaps the most ambitious of the quartet, and, unfortunately, the least effective. Confusing point-of-view changes and a nonsequential narrative turn his depiction of a death cult in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan into a muddle of feverish hallucinations, dismembered bodies, and blustering dialogue. Liss (The Twelfth Enchantment) rescues the project from mediocrity with “A Bad Season for Necromancy,” a witty account of a necromancer who blackmails rich widows in 18th-century London. (Sept.)
The four stories in this themed collection deal with various ways to summon the dead and the unexpected and, usually, unwelcome results of doing so. Armstrong's "Suffer the Children" tells of a town's grief and the promise of the revival of their dead loved ones, Christopher Golden's "Pipers" pits a small Texas town against a powerful Mexican drug cartel and their army of living dead, David Liss's "A Bad Season for Necromancy" tells of an 18th-century con man's efforts to raise the dead, and Jonathan Maberry's "Alive Day" takes a U.S. military unit on a search-and-rescue mission that faces an ancient evil. VERDICT Horror aficionados should enjoy these novellas from some of the genre's top names.
Kelley Armstrong is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Women of the Otherworld paranormal suspense series, Darkest Powers YA urban fantasy trilogy, and the Nadia Stafford crime series. David Liss is the author seven novels, most recently The Twelfth Enchantment. He has six previous bestselling novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages, several of which, as well as a short story, are in development as film projects. Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling author of novels for adults and younger readers. In addition to the Magic Zero quartet, his YA fiction includes Poison Ink and both the Prowlers series and the Body of Evidence series of teen thrillers, several of which have appeared on the YALSA Best Books for Young Readers list. His current work-in-progress is Cemetery Girl, a graphic novel trilogy collaboration with Charlaine Harris. He has cowritten three illustrated novels with Mike Mignola, the first of which, Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, was the launching pad for the Eisner-nominated, New York Times bestselling comic book series Baltimore. As an editor, he has worked on the short story anthologies The New Dead, The Monster’s Corner, and 21st Century Dead, among others, and has also written and cowritten video games, screenplays, and a network television pilot. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen languages in countries around the world.
Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and Marvel Comics writer. He’s the author of many novels, including Assassin’s Code, Dead of Night, Patient Zero, and Rot & Ruin. His nonfiction books cover topics ranging from martial arts to zombie pop-culture. Jonathan continues to teach the celebrated Experimental Writing for Teens class, which he created. He founded the Writers Coffeehouse and cofounded The Liars Club, and he is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries, as well as a keynote speaker and guest of honor at major writers’ and genre conferences. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California, with his wife, Sara, and their son, Sam. Visit him at JonathanMaberry.com and on Twitter (@JonathanMaberry) and Facebook.