Every story has a beginning, and every story has an end, but sometimes the end is the beginning and the beginning is the end.
Soul Masques is the latest in he rather splendid line of chapbooks from Spectral Press. This is the tenth installment in what has been a first class series of chapbooks, that have al shared a common theme of quiet unsettling creepy horror.
Soul Masques, however is a bit of a departure from the core theme of the series, and for that I applaud Simon for trying to do something different with the line, to stop it from going stale.
Stylistically this is the most complex story that has appeared in this series, however for me this story while intelligently written and full of clever writing lacked a certain substance. Told in a non linear form with the climax at the beginning of the book I found the story hard to engage with and at times I was left wondering what exactly was going on.
The thing I hate most about reviewing books like these where the writer is clearly talented and gifted, over books that are just badly written, is the who is a fault here? Is it the writer for writing a story that engages with me? or is it me for not getting the story. Lets be clear here this is not a badly written story, I just don't think I was the target audience for the story.
I'm sure this is just a bump in the road, and Spectral's next book from Simon Bestwick will see this series of chapbooks back on the straight and narrow.