The following is a review of the last story in the upcoming Shades And Shadows Paranormal Anthology, to be released Halloween Day, 2013 from Xchyler Publishing. There are nine short stories focused on the paranormal, as well as a forward by the multi-talented Ben Hansen of SyFy Channel's Fact or Faked. The last story in the anthology is titled The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells, by J. Aurel Guay.
This review is payback, of sorts. When my first published story appeared in the Mechanized Masterpieces Steampunk Anthology earlier this year, Guay wrote a blog post for each story and he instantly became our favorite fan. I'm sure the other authors were like me as we all waited with heightened anticipation for our turn to be critiqued. Guay was especially kind to my story. I believe the attention he gave our book helped him to become a published author himself.
I borrowed the above picture fro J. Aurel Guay's website. You can access it: HERE. What a great job of self promotion he's done. Looking at the impressive artwork in the photo you can guess what kind of story Guay's written.
And you'd be correct.
This transformation horror story set in Victorian England packs a lot into a short story. We meet Dr. Marcus Wells, doctor in residency, after he's suffered a personal loss, leaving him a broken man. With the ring as a memento, Marcus tries to carry on with his life. But as his heart tries to mend, strange occurrences weave a cloud of mystery for the mourning man.
Marcus finds himself involved in a world of monsters, where his sense of reality is turned upside down. I don't want to explain too much of the story--I don't want to deny you the pleasure of reading the story--but when Guay begins describing one of these transformations, his attention to detail made my stomach churn a bit. It's not too graphic. It's just, shall I say, thorough.
You may or may not like the ending. I've been known to do the same thing with a story or two, so now I know how my readers felt when reading some of my stories (like I said, the review's a payback...). Great story, fun read, definitely worth the time you'll put in reading!
* Photo used without permission from: http://jaurelguay.wordpress.com/