My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What we have here is a dust jacket blurb (points up the to identical GR blurb) setting the bar WAY too high. This is not astonishing or memorable (I read it last night and I've already forgotten half of it). Heck it's not even a novella. I was going to give it two stars until I read the other reviews and saw that this was basically a compilation of flash fiction for a MacFarlane toy line. Realizing it wasn't meant to be a novella and since as flash fiction it works I upped the stars by one.
Because as a novella, it fails. But that wasn't what this was meant to be so it makes sense now. Actually it starts out promising as far as a novella is concerned. Tom Requiem, murderer is to be hung but the hangman helps him and instead of dead, Tom finds himself being recruited to lead the 'infernal parade.' The idea is these bizarre performers would basically scare people back onto the straight and narrow before the demons actually gain hold of them. He's going to be working with Mary, the woman he killed.
That was interesting. They had an interesting relationship. And then it just ends. Right there as they go off to do whatever the parade does. In fact we never see the parade do anything. It exists as mere concept.
The rest of the 'novella' is apparently packaging insert flash stories about other monsters being recruited from 'freaks' to golems to desperate women to monsters of myth. None are as memorable or interesting as Tom and Mary.
It's ultimately a quick read with an interesting, if unrealized, idea but I'm very glad this was a library find and not something I spent money on. That said, Eggleton's art is very nice.
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