So here I am again, offering yet another positive review of a Greg F Gifune book. I know, I know, it's predictably boring. But the man writes quality. So what else is there to say?
Well, one thing I can say is this novella tells the story of Rooster, a retired thief whose last job went horrendously wrong and involved the death of one of his crew. Now he's looking for work, but has a wonderful girlfriend who is his rock, so he knows everything will be okay ... except for some strange dreams about the last job he is starting to have. And then, when another member of the crew contacts him out of the blue with a dire warning, Rooster becomes desperate to understand just what is happening to him. As well as discover what really did happen on the day of that botched robbery ...
Moody, atmospheric, and at times, chilling, Kingdom of Shadows represents a writer on top of his game. The mystery is intriguing, Rooster is a decent POV protagonist, and Gifune wastes not a sentence in pulling the reader along at a fast pace.
However, it all does seem very familiar. There is much of Kingdom of Shadows that I've read before - and every one of those previous reads have also been written by Greg F. Gifune. It seems the man has some personal demons (if you'll pardon the pun), because time and again the same themes - devils, government conspiracies, the nature of evil, visions of some form of the afterlife - come up in his works, with some examples being The Bleeding Season, Orphans of Wonderland or Rogue. As a result, Kingdom of Shadows lost some of the impact it would otherwise have had on me. Which is a shame because I think the conclusion of this one trumps anything else from him I've read, and to my mind, this contributes to Kingdom of Shadows being my favourite Gifune book yet.
To sum up, this is an excellent novella that would have been a 5 star read for me if it didn't feel I'd read very similar narratives from this same author before.
4 Well-Defended Memories for Kingdom of Shadows.