Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review (Short Story): Killed by Darkness by Anna Sanders

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Horror/Short Story
Formats available: ebook
Publication Date: July 12th 2012
Published by: Red Iris Books
Wordcount: approx. 4,000 (about 6,000 including back matter)
Kindle Locations: 303 - story text ends at 63%
Epub pages: 24 - story text ends on pg 17
 - Remainder of file is mainly an excerpt of Cursed by Darkness
 - No Table of Contents

Source: My Library

It's uncommon for daevors to leave the safety of their enclave. But when Deja Rowan gets a job offer in New York, she can't resist the glamour of a fabulous life in a new city.

Her body is found mutilated a year later--and nobody will take action against the killers, since it would risk exposing cryptids to all of humanity.

The victim's little sister, Winx, isn't afraid of the consequences. And she will do anything to get revenge.

Killed by Darkness is a 4000-word prequel to the Befallen Tides series. It contains a preview of Cursed by Darkness by Anna Sanders.

After I picked up Cursed by Darkness from a giveaway I noticed that there was a short story prequel available, Killed by Darkness, so I decided to start with this short story first. On one hand I’m glad I did, but on the other hand, I’m not so sure. I actually read this back in October so hopefully I won’t make any egregious factual errors.

Killed by Darkness starts out focusing on Deja and Winx (love that name!), a couple of Daevor demon sisters. They have a close relationship and when Deja is murdered, Winx takes it pretty hard. Justice needs to be served…even if she has to do it herself.

What starts out as an Urban Fantasy quickly takes a left turn down Horror Lane when things start to get a bit, no… a lot gory. Words like “ewww!”, “Ick!”, “Gross!”, “ZOMG, why are they doing that?!” flew out of my mouth. I wanted to squinch my eyes shut like I do when watching a gory movie (which I try to avoid) but that would most certainly obstruct my reading… okay, squinch the brain, yeah… that will work *squinch*. Okay, it didn’t work that well. It was really gross but it was also kind of intriguing because I kept wondering why they were so compelled to do that. Of course, if I read the blurb a little more closely the reason would be obvious, but it was also revealed in the end, at which time I had a bit of a “doh!” moment.

I think the story does a good job of setting up the first book, Cursed by Darkness, as far as I can tell by the story blurb, but I’m a little hesitant now to go ahead and read it because I’m not sure if it is going to have the same level of gorysauce (note to self: never use that word ever again!). I can handle it, I guess, for a short story; I just don’t know if I could take a whole novel of it. I am actually a little intrigued about what happens next, but I dunno… I may give it a try but tread lightly. 

I liked Winx (and boy does she have some major power!) and I thought the story had some good suspense and build up to keep the reader guessing what the heck was going on, but I can’t say I liked the gore even if it was relevant to Winx’s motivation for revenge. I also wasn’t sure how Winx knew who Deja’s killers were (maybe it was explained in the story but I don’t remember since it was awhile ago that I read it). I really can’t say I didn’t like it, but I can’t really say I did either due to the gore. So I’m going with a more neutral rating of 2.5 stars on the blog, but it will be rounded up on sites with no half stars.

Rating: 2.5

Typos found: none, I think (no highlights on my ereader but I don’t remember if I was marking them when I read it as I did not intend to review at that time.)


This short story is available as an ebook.  Anna Sanders does not appear to have a web presence at the time of this post and I could only find a facebook page, which does not appear to be a public page. 


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