Alice, the rare origin of two spawn, is a cocky, accomplished assassin who values beauty and art over all else. But when an unknown monster begins stalking her in the dark, she remembers what it is like to fear.
When a person has too much of a vice or a virtue, they spawn it from their body into controllable little monster pets to do their bidding. Alice has one of each and they help her in her job as a ruthless assassin. But one of her victims has spawned a huge vice, bigger than anything Alice has ever dealt with and that monster is coming to kill her.
This was a great story! I was first attracted to it by the hellishly creepy cover which would give anyone nightmares and the story itself was really creepy and full of tense action sequences. Don't let the shortness put you off as this book was well crafted and the ideas in it were totally different from anything I've read.
First, the plot. I loved this idea that if you were very virtuous or full of a vice, you would basically spawn it out of yourself and it becomes a seperate entity, loyal to you, like pet monsters. This was a seriously cool idea and I loved both of Alice's pets, Constraint and Mirror. Growing up, I think I might have spawned a few vices out of myself in this way if I could! In her job, she has left many angry and sad people behind and now one is determined to get revenge on Alice and has spawned a huge hate filled Wrath spawn who might prove too much even for an assassin. Despite the shortness of the book, I was totally caught up in the story from page one and it was laid out perfectly for the reader to enjoy with tension, monster attacks and a look inside the head of an assassin who for once is afraid. There is great inventiveness in the plot, Alice's view of her murders and how she fends off the big monster's attacks. It was a fresh story in the paranormal genre and I enjoyed it a lot.
Alice is basically a ruthless and heartless bitch who views her murders as works of art and can't understand why victim's families hate her or don't see the artistic value in what she does. She should be a totally unsympathetic character but she isn't. In an odd way I liked her and kind of rooted for her even though she is evil. It is a tribute to the author that I can like Alice despite her lack of compassion or heart, and it shows a great skill for character development. You can't help but adore Contraint and Mirror and wish you had a few of these guys as your own pets!
The only complaint is that I wanted more! I hope that the author writes more about Alice and her world, especially a fuller novel or three! I will certainly be looking out for this author and anything else that she writes. Excellent debut short story! I recommend this to fans of horror, urban fantasy, dystopia and paranormal.