A Second, Less Capable, Head

A Second, Less Capable, Head, And Other Rogue Stories
ISBN 9781937818395, Sand Hill Review Press, an e-book by James Hanna,

This book has been termed a fictional, satirical anthology and several of the 19 individual stories are just that. Others often are quite short vignettes that along with one or two others contain pathos and perhaps even character insights. In this reviewer’s opinion, the book’s title story presents an amusing statement; The Guest (2), also an amusingly well done parody on today’s government; Exposed (3) pathos; Fruits (5) a scathingly good similar depiction to number two, as well as adding the all-too-apparent present day ‘human’ attitude; similarly, The Sicilian (7), Breaking Vials (8), Honey Bunny (9) present interesting issues. Hunting Bear (12) introduces the sociopath featured later in an advanced condition of psychosis in Hunter’s Moon (17); Another Will Take Your Place (18), the story of a serial rapist and one of his victims again, as with numbers 12 and 17, scathingly depicts the fallacies of today’s criminal system, but this latter, also provides an interesting comment/conjecture on one victim; The Break (14) presents a realistic picture of a chase of escaped prisoners.

The author has provided a well written/paced anthology of unusual stories that range from being too simplistic for this reviewer to others that quite scathingly capture government/establishment mismanagement as well as human frailties. Thus, a somewhat dichotomous conclusion.

3* Dichotomous for this reviewer; 5* excellent satire and pathos; 3* several too simplistic.

Delilah’s Vampire

Delilah’s Vampire
ISBN: 9781508042204, an e-book by Alicia Rayn

Plot/Characters: A prologue recounts the story of Delilah’s shoring of Samson’s locks and subsequent devastating results. However the story insinuates that Samson did not die after destroying the temple but eventually freed himself from the ruins only to discover that he had become a vampire. As such, he turns numerous others as he continues through several thousand years looking for the treacherous woman so he can enact revenge. Through the millennia he has succeeded in controlling his blood requirements by inventing a substitute fluid and has become a powerful figure in the human financial world known as Ash Samson, He suddenly discovers Delilah, now a fund manager named Ariana. He hires her to administer his enormous wealth and begins his plan for retribution. All does not proceed as planned because of a number of interacting activities. He discovers he still has almost uncontrollable love for this Delilah/Ariana person and hesitates in proceeding with his vengeful activity. Meanwhile, James, Ariana’s husband, has been bled dry by Toria, Ash’s long-time associate and one-time concubine of the Kurdish warrior Saludin. For some vague reason and not even having heard of Ariana at the time, he saves him by giving him some of his blood but by doing so, converts him to a vampire state. Toria, has loved Ash for at least a millennium, and begins to weave a pattern to destroy Ariana. Others; a monk who has been turned, a former soldier with whom Samson had served under Alexander the Great, a younger convert who is part human, part vampire with a relation to Ariana, a maid devoted to Ash, but in some manner associated with Lilith, Adam’s first wife who had been banished from the Garden; and other characters of lesser importance become entangled in the involved conflicting desires and the tale progresses in a most active manner to its finale. A few proofing/editing errors are slightly annoying.

Conclusion: A tale that should satisfy devotees of both vampire and romance genres.

4* Should satisfy devotees of both vampire and romance genres.