One morsel review: Fantastic setting – a speakeasy where fae and werewolves meet and fight in the underworld of Chicago – if with characters that lack just that extra spank to really shine.
The Hot Dry Spell
A short urban fantasy noir
A dieselpunk short story set in Chicago in the Twenties. Fae and werewolves battle each other for the domination of the land and for their own survival.
I was so excited about this idea: a Prohibition Era speakeasy peopled by Fae in a city – Chicago – where supernatural beings secretly wedge war to each other. A city where the historical rivalry between gangs intermingles with a mythical battle between supernatural creatures – Fae and Werewolves. The idea really caught my imagination.
So I’m very sorry that the actual story didn’t engage me as much as it could have.
To me, it was quite clear the world fascinated the author – and there’s nothing wrong with this. She took a very long time building it, getting into much details about what the Fae do, what the Werewolves do, what is the connection between them, and how the feud works. Why they are fighting each other, how they relate to mortals, including gangsters. She even went as far as to design a rough map of Fae kingdoms in America. It was considerable work for a short story, and this may be why I expected more out of it.
The story actually turned out to be very simple and linear. We get to know the characters. We get to understand the mechanics of this world. There is a fight. End. The plot is very basic and to be honest, I’m not even sure I would call this a plot since there is hardly any complication. To me, it sounded more the intro to a story, than a story in its own right. We get the situation coming from the worldbuilding, but then we don’t get a complication. We get action, yes, but it’s something illustrating that situation, not something that touches the characters. The characters just seem to follow the events, not to create them, and this created a disconnection between them and me that didn’t allow me to enjoy the story fully.
A pity, because there is a lot which was interesting, here: the mix of myth and history, at least one very nice scene idea (Rose seeing what’s happening to Gary while she dances), and interesting fantasy conflict.
But the good news is that I hear from the author she is indeed very much involved in this world and she is working to more stories set in it. I expect something interesting coming our way.