In this second installment of my review/story-analysis of our Welcome to Pacific City anthology, I tackle two stories that immerse the reader in fiery and strange sensations. I guess, superhero stories tend to do that, huh? By drawing us out of our ordinary world, these stories allow us to touch on emotions and experiences we couldn’t otherwise. Join me as we walk the path of fire and redemption.
His Trail of Cinders by Jeremy Megargee
As an editor, one thing that is very appealing about story anthologies is the variety of story types one can include. His Trail of Cinders is a narrowly focused story. It starts out hot and does not let up as we follow the formation of, well, let’s just say a magmatic personality.
Have you ever felt the urge to cut someone off in traffic? Ever wish you could “stick it to the man”? What if one day you could? What if one day you had all the power you ever wanted? Would you use it for good? Or to satisfy your baser desires?
His Trail of Cinders doesn’t answer any of those question. Instead, it allows us to experience what it might be like to just do it (whatever ‘it’ might be).
This story did not appeal to all our readers/editors. Like I said, it has a narrow focus, but it builds on our main character’s thoughts, emotions, and sensations as he gives in to his inner desires. If you like to be drenched in sensory details while someone goes volcanic, this story is for you!
If not, skip it. There’s the other side of the coin in the very next story…
The Congregation by P.J. Richards
This next story, The Congregation, is similar to His Trail of Cinders. Narrow in focus, but steeped in sensory details.
Our main character is searching for a self in a changing landscape. And like in our own world, a church offers solace and the comfort of community. Wouldn’t superheros need that too?
The Congregation drops us into scene of crucial transformation. While doing so, the author does a great job of bringing her church to life; the colors, sensations, and rituals feel real and important. This origin story builds an interesting mythology for Pacific City; one that I hope will be realized more fully in a sequel.
That’s it for today. Look for more to come later this week.
Feeling generous? We’re running a Kickstarter campaign: check it out here.
Until next time,
N. E. White