This was a wonderfully cosy steampunk mystery, which I enjoyed a lot. The characters felt rich and familiar, as if this was but one episode in a series of stories. I’m now interested to see if Ames has written about Kate and David before, or if she’ll write about them again in the future!
Review of Alexis Ames, “Summer’s End”, in David G. Clark, Callum Colback, Joe Butler, and Alex Hareland, eds., Beneath Strange Stars, (TL;DR Press, 2020): 195-209 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
Matthias and his husband Eitan are two of the last surviving Competitors: People who were forced to murder each other for public entertainment in the worst sort of reality TV show. The only way they escaped that fate themselves was that there was a coup and the Commissioner’s government fell. Now, five years on, the Commissioner’s trial has reached its conclusion, and Matthias, Eitan, and thousands of others must await the verdict. Surely the one who orchestrated such casual death must be found responsibility for it…
This was an absolute stonker of a story: Heart-wrenching, gut-turning, so horrific it could not be, so real it could be true. Easily my favorite of the volume.