There can, indeed, be sequels that are better than the original.
Where Temporary Monsters introduced us to the smart-tongued P.I. and his curiosity of The Black Lands and the supernatural elements found within, The Ash Angels offers a more profound glimpse into the darkness that haunts our protagonist.
When strange marks begin to appear in the snow, Renn is once again dragged (not necessarily) kicking and screaming into the strangeness that surrounds him.
FROM THE ASH ANGELS:
“As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could make out a dim, vaguely human-shaped silhouette standing in front of one of the coffins at the far end of the room. Unlike the other coffins, this one’s lid was closed. That was the sound I had heard. There’s no mistaking that thud of finality. I’d heard it in a thousand horror movies. It was the sound of a door closing forever.”
As with any good sequel, Rogers uses The Ash Angels to further explore the darkness that resides in The Black Lands and has now undeniably permeated the thin film that separates that world from Renn’s Toronto.
From the very start, Rogers conjures up a darker more melancholy universe for Renn. Set against the backdrop of Christmas Eve, The Ash Angels is a darker, grittier read that adds more depth to Renn and continues to peel back the layers of the story that readers will undoubtedly be intrigued with the same way I was.
One of the many things I like about Renn? He’s the every man. There are no shiny gadgets, no superhuman strength that would give him a leg up on the supernatural entities he faces. Armed only with attitude, wry wit and a couple of borrowed guns, Renn faces the unknown head-on, making The Ash Angels and its predecessor Temporary Monsters, instantly tinged with a disquiet that is easily addictive.
You can pick up this chapbook (with another gorgeous cover) from Burning Effigy.
Can’t get enough of Renn and The Black Lands? Neither can I! In the coming weeks, I’ll be reviewing the 3rd chapbook in the series, Black-Eyed Kids.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Have you read The Ash Angels or any of Ian’s other works? How would you describe his writing? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
The Ash Angels by Ian Rogers
Publisher: Burning Effigy Press
Formats: Chapbook, 40 pages
Price: $8 USD