Review of ~ Michael R. Fletcher – Fire and Flesh – A Manifest Delusions Short Story

8/10

*Quick review*

Fletcher’s short story, Fire and Flesh is a standalone tale from his Manifest Delusions series. I haven’t yet read that series but it has been on my radar for a while. Fletcher advised me that this 17-page-narrative would be fine to approach before reading Beyond Redemption so, one rainy day I frequented a local British pub and whilst enjoying a pint of cider, I devoured the story within an hour. For a short book, I must admit, it is mesmerisingly detailed as well as being thrilling, haunting, fast-paced, and violent.

The two main characters are the decaying, flesh-tattered ship Captain, Pizarr, and his onetime friend, the Pyrocaster, Gehirn. We follow Gehirn’s point of view during these 17-pages and he likes to burn people. There are no heroes here, just people living their lives in what seems like a horrendous world. Pizarr and Gehirn are well-crafted and suprisingly deep for such a short book. There is a large supporting cast too but this isn’t overwhelming in nature. Fire and Flesh is a quick, sharp, cruel, action-packed Grimdark tale that seems to have more deaths than pages and an awesome finale. There are some complex terms here that may seem confusing initially for a new reader to Fletcher’s world. These phrases will probably make perfect sense if you have read Beyond Redemption however, the terminology made sense to me when aligned with the context. This is one of the best short stories I have read for a long time. Warning, on a Kindle, the story finishes at about 25%. This is because Fletcher kindly includes first chapters for some of his other works. Having read a couple of Fletcher’s books now, I conclude that his books are dark but ultimately cool as fuck!

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