Source: Hydra and TLC Book Tours
ebook, 129 pgs
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Crossfades by William Todd Rose is a novel that hovers on the borders of science fiction and horror, as Chuck Grainger navigates the Crossfades to usher souls out of a purgatory to where they should be. This limbo is the moment when one’s life is ending and a fantasy reality take over before the soul moves on, but in some cases, souls can be tricked into believing the fantasy is reality. Chuck is a Whisk who must guide these trapped souls through a maze of changing landscapes without becoming detached from reality himself. Through the help of Sleepers, those who are in a coma, Chuck can remain tethered to reality as long as his emotions remain in check.
“Drawing a deep breath through his nostrils was like snorting a line of decayed flesh. The stench watered his eyes and infected his sinuses, seeping into his saliva and immersing his mouth in the rancid tang of decomposition. His diaphragm hitched in protest, expelling tainted oxygen through retches that left his throat lining feeling as though he’d belched fire.” (From the eARC)
Chuck is a lonely man, and this loneliness is something that threatens to pull him over into the abyss even as he knows the Crossfades around him are not real. Whether trying to convince a little girl that her reality is long gone and that she must move on or finding an emotional connection with a frightened young woman, Chuck is tested. Rose clearly defines this ephemeral world and makes it real and mutable at the same time, and his characters are seeping with powerful emotion. Some readers, however, may find that this format — the novella — is too short to really connect with Chuck and his plight. In many respects, readers are kept at a distance because he does have to remain detached, at least until the last chapters.
Crossfades by William Todd Rose explores the notion of purgatory and limbo really well, and examines what it would be liked to be trapped by one’s own fantasies — good or bad. Rose has created a world that can be manipulated by the individual soul and by a mastermind who seeks to take over the alternate world.
About the Author:
William Todd Rose writes dark, speculative fiction from his home in West Virginia. His short stories have been featured in numerous anthologies and magazines, and his work includes the novels Cry Havoc, The Dead & Dying, and The Seven Habits of Highly Infective People, and the novella Apocalyptic Organ Grinder. For more information on the author, including links to bonus content, please visit him online.