Written by: Drake Morgan
I’ve never read Rowan before, so I was really curious when I kicked into this short story collection. There are eight stories here. They are reprints, so dedicated readers will be already be familiar with them. For those new to Rowan, this is a great introduction.
The collection opens with a story called “Lilies.” “It was Autumn, and the city was at war.” Oh no. War. And is that a hint of zombies? I was growing a little skeptical about this first one, but by the end, I was hooked. Yes it’s about war and zombies. But Rowan’s elegant prose and unique perspectives took cliché and made it brilliant. Lines like “Fog had stolen in from the sea” and “A thousand voices, whispering like the waves,” both from the story “The Call,” reflect Rowan’s hypnotic, lyrical style. Avoiding the trap of gratuitous violence, he weaves haunting, dark spells that linger long after you finish.
Short stories are a moment in time. They capture a fraction of what a novel does, but in the hands of a great writer, they can be just as powerful as any longer work out there. Iain Rowan is a master. There was not a misstep in this collection. This is one meant to be read more than once. Leaving the light on will not help. Simply brilliant.
Check out Ice Age right here.