Title: The Beacon
Author: Shannon K. Butcher
In: Dark and Stormy Knights (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Demons, Urban fantasy
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
5th sentence, 74th page: Something in his leg cracked and pain screamed up his spine, setting his brain on fire.
Ryder is after a Beacon, someone who draws demonic creatures into our world. But this Beacon isn’t anything like he expected, and the battle that follows will change his life forever.
The opening scene in this short story drew me in from the very beginning. Partially because Butcher is a really good writer, but also partly because it starts with a man going for a drive specifically to kill someone. There is something that I always find fun about assassin stories (this may be a deeper comment on my psyche, but we won’t go into that…)
Although Ryder is off to kill someone for the greater good, the person who he has been sent after is completely unexpected, and the battle that follows is epic. Not only is Ryder faced with an incredibly intimidating foe, he also has a crisis of faith, and a plucky (if not completely underqualified) side kick that he really doesn’t want or need.
I love how The Beacon is bought full circle, albeit with an incredibly changed lifestyle and bunch of choices for Ryder. It ties everything up so neatly and leaves you feeling like he is able to continue fighting the good fight.
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