1) Dusk Peterson has written a series of compelling short stories sent in ancient times when the love for another man was prohibited and sentenced by death. These are well written and quite entertaining. There are a few of these stories I wouldn't mind if they were extended and given a wider view. Well done!
2) Really nice stories with interesting plots. Mostly character driven, with a hint of plot to push things along. A lot of the intercharacter relationships really shine in this anthology. Excellent. The author took a lot of care with the setting in which these stories are developed. While I normally find weakness when an author borrows a setting in which to set their stories (and initially I was concerned about the author lifting the state of Maryland), I found that I enjoyed the changes and twists the author made, essentially taking Maryland and making it their own. I can really appreciate a lot of the painstaking research the author did, and think this part of their stories really shined. These are people, not just characters. They each have their own unique voice as much as they can and you get that feel while reading these stories. Excellent. Really well done; a nice balance of being inside the character's head and explaining what's going on. Sometimes, a bit of tell, but generally well balanced with some show to it. Great job. Recommended for consideration for an award.
Risk (Dark Light #2) by Dusk Peterson
LGBT Anthology / Collection / Alternative Universe/Reality
Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press (August 21, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Risk (Dark Light #2)
"I hesitated. Was Fairview dead? Was it worth my while to risk my own life for a dead man?"
Until risk arrives, you never know how important the things are that you're required to risk.
A soldier must decide how high a price he is willing to pay for an unspoken bond. A journeyman must choose between an assured future and an untroubled conscience. A boy learns that his life is a lie and must decide which truth he desires. A servant and his beloved master face stark truths as their lives are endangered. A young torturer, satisfied with his lot, gambles everything he has ever valued to learn a new way of treating prisoners. A master must risk the future of his slave, or else risk his own future. . . . "Risk" looks at the dangers and rewards of taking risks.
This second volume of Dark Light collects two novellas (short novels), two novelettes (miniature novels), and two short stories. These tales come from Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of alternate history series (The Eternal Dungeon, Dungeon Guards, Michael's House, Life Prison, Commando, Waterman, Young Toughs, and Dark Light) about adults and youths on the margins of society, and the people who love them. Set in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the novels and stories take place in an alternative version of America that was settled by inhabitants of the Old World in ancient times. As a result, the New World retains certain classical and medieval customs.
"The Unanswered Question" (The Eternal Dungeon). No weapons, no allies, and no guarantees that he will survive the test.
"The Lure" (Young Toughs). His entire life has been a secret. Now he must rip open the secret.
"Journey to Manhood" (Young Toughs). "Perhaps, when they spoke next, the other young man could tell Simmons of any masters here who were in need of an apprentice who was perilously close to the age of journeymanship."
"Lost Haven: a master, his servant, and a disappearing island" (Waterman). Amidst a servant's nightmare, can a haven of hope be found?
"Master's Piece" (Waterman). He was his master's piece: the model for his master's sculptures. But his master was different.
"Spy Hill" (Commando). On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.
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