Author: Patrick de Moss
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: N/A
Rating: 4 out of 5
Summary: “In this collection of darkly magical short stories, Patrick de Moss grounds speculative fantasy in a more psychological, complex world – and does so to stunning effect. In “The Sweet Shepherd” a man incapable of dying and living in Connecticut hires a chauffeur, and comes in close contact with the unmitigated sorrow of loss. In “Like Clockwork” a lonely accountant discovers a man of bronze and brings him back to life, only to see the pain he carries with him from her act of kindness. In “A Strange Boy”, Nicholas must decide the fate of a childhood friend – a moment that may in many ways save or end his own life. In each case, de Moss hones in on the small victories and losses of ordinary people trying to survive in a world that only rarely needs them. Reminiscent of the spirit of Charles de Lint and Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labryinth” de Moss’ debut is a meditation on isolation as the stories weave together to create a vivid tapestry and a unified, though broken whole. His stories delve deeply into the very nature of what it means to try to be human, exploring our fears, triumphs, tragedies and the heartache that comes along with the reality – and our perceptions of reality – of the gulf that exists between another and ourselves. As thought provoking as it is arresting, “Kings of Nowhere” is a transformative collection, keenly aware of the pulse of life and the desire within us all for a place to feel needed and welcome.” – Goodreads
I’m not typically one for anthologies, so this came as a pleasant surprise!
Kings of Nowhere carries a steady pace throughout most of the book. Although, there were times when it dragged in both the writing and flow. (The pace of the writing occasionally lagged in, for example, an action scene.) Even so, this was minor and didn’t show up much.
The writing in particular is great. Descriptive without getting too flowery, and highly imaginative. One thing to note is that each of these stories takes place from a different character’s point of view. With many authors, their characters may tend to sound alike, if not completely similar. Here however, each character has their own unique voice in addition to being well developed.
The only other drawback is that sometimes it wasn’t clear what was going on in the plot. I know these stories are intended to have an air of mystery about them, and while most of the time I enjoyed that, I did want to know at some point which story was true and which wasn’t. (This might sound cryptic, but I don’t want to spoil anything. You’ll just have to read the book for yourself!)
Overall, Kings of Nowhere is an intriguing, enjoyable read, earning a 4 out of 5.