Review of "A Fitting Tribute," a single short story from a collection by Andrea Janes
Boroughs of the Dead is a collection of ten short horror stories set in and around New York City.
Beneath its modern facade, New York City teems with dark secrets, faded spirits, and unnameable horrors. Boroughs of the Dead weaves fact and myth, fiction and legend to tell ten of the most terrifying tales of the haunted metropolis.
A medical doctor abandons all rationality when he falls in love with the spirit of a murdered woman. The nightmares of an adolescent boy come to life and stalk him to the deadly, polluted waters of Newtown Creek. A cholera demon wipes out the thieves and murderers of the Five Points.
From ghost stories to zombie narratives to weird tales, Boroughs of the Dead contains evils as diverse as Gotham itself.
For me, one of the most interesting things about short stories is how they don't always clearly fall under the predefined genres. When you see a fantasy novel you can make some pretty safe guesses about what kind of entertainment it will deliver. This is almost never the case with short stories.
In case you missed the post title, this is a review of a single story in a larger collection. "A Fitting Tribute" could be shallowly described as a fantasy horror story. In actuality it was an engrossing tale about vanity and revenge.
Essentially this is the story of a beautiful, vain sixteen year old girl who is accustomed to getting exactly what she wants whenever she wants. And she has the means to "ensure" that her wishes come true. I simply loved her character. She was so perfectly nasty. A beautiful face concealing a monstrous personality.
All too often the reader can't help but feel sorry for characters because of their youth. I found it refreshing that the author chose to avoid that route. While you definitely become sucked into the story, you are able to view the protagonist's fate with a kind of heartless indifference. This made the ending all the more chilling.
This story alone would make the whole collection worth buying. "A Fitting Tribute" was interesting and different; creepy yet satisfying.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this collection on Amazon and make a point to check out Andrea's site.