BLEED AWAY THE SKY by Brian Fatah Steele

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Publisher: Bloodshot Books
Published: January 25th 2019
Pages: 267

It’s very rare to find genuine female characters written by male authors. Brian Fatah Steele does a fantastic job creating and developing Audrey Darrow. She’s a complex character with a family secret. Her mother passed away a few years back, and when her estranged father passes away, she finds out she has a long lost half-brother, Elliot. They load up and head off on a last minute cross-country trip to bond.

Three squatters are hiding in a hotel in the middle of a city. We get our first glimpse of The Invocated in the ballroom of the hotel. The scene is disturbingly grotesque. The Invocated are kind of like Clive Barker’s Cenobites–only because they are other-dimensional. The otherworldly gods and their actions are extremely terrifying.

A mysterious man in a nice suit emerges from a pond located out in the middle of nowhere. There’s not a trace of pond water on the guy. I instantly wanted to know more about odd fellow. I didn’t have to wait long to find out his purpose.

Audrey Darrow finds out she is a Crimsonata just like her mother and so forth. Their fallen blood has kept the dimensions separate and safe. The Ovessa wants to destroy Audrey and chow down on the Earth. The Ovessa unleashes the Invocated to hunt and kill Audrey. Audrey has no clue. She’s caught by surprise, but she’s a fighter. She doesn’t back down.

Brian Fatah Steele does an excellent job setting the story up with those pivotal scenes before the ultimate showdown. From the desert to the urban slums, BLEED AWAY THE SKY delivers that gritty goodness I’ve come to expect from Brian Fatah Steele. I really liked the author’s spatial awareness. He used the less is more approach with the hotel rooms. I felt like I was there with the characters, fully submerged in the story. The execution was solid. I didn’t want the story to end.

Steele could have ended the story in one of three ways, and to me, he chose the best way to end the story. When I thought the story was going to end, Steele took the story in a different direction. By switching gears, he kept me on the edge of my seat. I was fully invested all the way through. I couldn’t put my Kindle down. I had to know what was coming on the next page. I hope this is the start to a cosmic horror series starring Audrey Darrow.

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EVERY BLOODLINE HAS SECRETS
Audrey Darrow lost her mother when she was a child. Now, her absent father has passed away and Elliot, the half-brother she never knew, wants to connect with the only family he has left on an impromptu cross-country road trip.

BUT SOME SECRETS ARE BEST LEFT HIDDEN
Soon after the journey begins, she learns that her mother belonged to an ancient line of women — women who held powers they used to seal and protect our realm from an onslaught of nightmarish entities — and Audrey is the last of them.

AND YOU CAN’T FLEE THE PAST FOREVER
Now a mystic cabal is determined to force her into her role, while a parade of otherworldly creatures attempt to kill her in order to end her line forever. Audrey must decide how to deal with the strange blood in her lineage, and about whether the world is worth saving or not… before it’s too late

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