Our Carrion Hearts: Brian Fatah Steele
Reviewed By Steve Stred
One thing I’ve come to discover is that there really is no one else currently writing who possesses the imagination of Brian Fatah Steele. Joseph Sale may be the closest writer I can think of, but in terms of sheer scope and originality, Fatah Steele continues to create amazing creatures, stunning worlds and blends them into highly enjoyable books.
What I liked: In ‘Our Carrion Hearts‘ Fatah Steel introduces us to five species of creature that secretly rule the world: Vampires, Witches, Faeries, Djinn, and Wendigo. They have an uneasy truce in which each allow the other to exist while governed by the laws of the Carrion Court. But these are not your normal versions of bloodsuckers and skinwalkers. No, Fatah Steele humanizes them to a degree, while also making them significantly more savage as a base impulse. They feed on whatever they want to have power and survive.
As something shifts within that world, Fatah Steele wraps a mysterious twist into the narrative and it’s on that note that we follow along, as two key members of different species travel headfirst towards each other.
I loved how each species had a different set of rules to live by and how each of our two main characters abided by them while trying to figure out what was going on. Daniel and Kelsey were really intriguing characters and when Keegan was introduced, I really like that extra layer of interaction we got from yet another species.
There is a significant amount of ruthless gore and carnage in here, but it really did serve a well thought through purpose.
What I didn’t like: It took me a bit to figure out that there were two different 1st person POV narratives at play, as well as the interlude, 3rd person POV chapters. For the first 25% or so, I was struggling to really discern if Dan and Kelsey were the same character, just with different personalities or what, but then it clicked.
Why you should buy it: I found Fatah Steel had dialled everything in really well with his release ‘Celestial Seepage‘ so I was hoping for more of that focus, and that’s what Brian delivers here. The book hums along, the characters are relatable and once again, as mentioned, Fatah Steele shows just how impressive his mind is for conjuring up new worlds.
Our Carrion Hearts
Vampires, Witches, Faeries, Djinn, and Wendigo. These five tribes have held an uneasy truce for centuries, united for their mutual benefit as the Carrion Court. But now the collapse has begun.
Daniel Hale has been summoned back to his hometown to investigate the disappearance of another Wendigo. Rumors are circulating that his kind are going feral, hearing voices in their primal form. To make things more complicated, a young psychic woman seems somehow involved.
Meanwhile, Kelsey Radu and her family are acquiring an impressive body count. The teenage Witch has a plan, one audacious and brutal. It doesn’t matter how many die out back in the shack, she will not be stopped until the ritual is finally complete.
Daniel and Kelsey are on a collision course that could determine the fate of the world. Wendigo versus Witch. Neither of them are heroes.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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