San Francisco is on the edge of a blizzard, the first in a hundred years. A cannibal killer stalks the streets. A rash of abductions targets people seemingly at random. A city falling into chaos.
Chris Black sees the connection. On the trail of a missing woman, he uncovers the delicate threads uniting the disparate mysteries. But he is mentally ill and all of it could be the product of his diseased mind. Balancing the fog of medication with his descent into madness, he struggles to remain lucid in the face of horror.
Delving into a mystery that might be of his own making, he discovers a secret world. A world where women become serpents, the very ground can be his deadliest enemy, a world of the blackest magic. He has found the edges of something older than he can imagine, something that can change the fabric of reality.
And the storm itself is his only ally.
The novella Coldheart opens the book, which is rounded out with five short stories. In "Dante Ascending," a boy discovers the dangerous secret at the top of an inner city tenement; "Wait" is the story of two soldiers on opposite sides becoming unlikely friends; in "The Menagerie," a young couple finds an extradimensional zoo; "Dead Drop" chronicles the rise and fall of a spy; and finally, in "Stillwater," a town is accidentally sent to hell. Coldheart is the first book in the League of Magi series by Justin Robinson.
|Publisher:||Captain Supermarket Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In Coldheart, Robinson does a very impressive (and at times, rather remarkable) job of world-building, piling up details and characters so subtly that you don't even notice just how fully realized everything is until you're fairly deep into the volume. The titular novella itself would be enough to recommend the book, but each of the short stories that follow manage to build on it in ways both entertaining and unexpected. Superficially, the stories are only tangentially related to one another (and indeed, each one could be enjoyed as a standalone story - "The Menagerie" and "Dead Drop" were particular favorites of mine), yet they all fit together thematically and serve as important building blocks in understanding Robinson's vision of the legendarium he's creating. I'm glad to know that this is only the first volume of a longer series - these are characters (and this is a world) that I want to spend more time with and I only hope that we don't have to wait too long for volume two. This work is so stunningly assured and confident that I have no doubt that whenever volume two does come out, it won't be a disappointment.
Justin Robinson pens "Coldheart" a fantastic collection of stories of magick. Each story contains ordinary people, the world of immortals and magick, then builds to where each will somewhat interconnect in meaning while leaving everything open for a future collection. I was totally captivated in this collection and hope the author continues on with it. Highly recommended for all fantasy and magick fans. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Coldheart is a amazingly fun book to read. It's a darker take of urban fantasy with ancient mythos and magi creating a intricate web of relationships and magic which will eat the mortal who stumbles into it alive. The first half of the book is Coldheart itself - the story of single man that discovers that other world because someone precious to him is pulled in. Through Chris we learn just the edges of League of Magi and we see the powers they wield. But it is the hunt to save Sarah that is important to Chris and to the reader - everything he sees is just an obstacle to protect that which matters the most. The second half is a series of short stories that gives us windows into how the League of Magi affect our world. What fantastical things they can do and create, how the normal people who work for them see them, and what they do to our world without even intending it. This book comes with my highest recommendation: It is GOOD. Of the short stories my favorite is Stillwater and I look forward to finding out which one is yours.
"Coldheart" is a wonderful collection that opens the door to a world I'm very excited to continue exploring. I'm getting a strong sense that it'll be very difficult for this author to disappoint me. :) "Coldheart", like Robinson's novel "Dollmaker", features a protagonist who's no Mary Sue. He's mentally ill and fairly unstable, but very interesting as he attempts to find the truth in a world that may or may not reflect the reality of what's actually going on around him. A great opener to the anthology. "Dante Ascending" is a short story filled with tension until the very end. The further you read, the more questions you'll have. Though, honestly, that's basically true of every story in this collection. And I love it. I immediately got the sense that the place the protagonist, Virgil, enters is not at all what he expected, but there's no way to predict how the story ends. "Wait" is my second favorite story in this collection, and Robinson does a fantastic job of building up the relationship between two guards stationed on opposing sides of a conflict. The end of this one was surprisingly emotional for me. "The Menagerie" is my absolute favorite of the six stories featured in this collection. The atmosphere, the environment, everything about this story kept me enthralled and left me wanting more. I could get lost here, and would love to see it brought to life on the big screen. I would say that this is the most imaginative of the 6 and will delight people who read a lot of fantasy or science fiction. "Dead Drop" showcases the hierarchies of this world very well, and although the protagonist is just a cog in the machine, this story shows a lot more of the machine as a whole than the other stories (with exception of "Coldheart"). Another emotionally charged story, where there is no real "good" or "bad". Robinson is great at painting his characters in shades of grey. "Stillwater" is my least favorite, but that's not at all to say I think it's a bad story. We can't like them all the same, can we? :) This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but introduces more characters from the Bigger Picture in a very interesting way. It reminds me a bit of the Silent Hill games, though I'll let you read on your own and figure out why. Overall, I highly recommend this book to people who love science fiction, fantasy, or who've already read Robinson's other books. And if you haven't, you should. What are you waiting for?