Tales from the Red Sun Village: Volume 1 by Mark Swaine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The blurb: The legendary warrior Kamui Li visits the people of a settlement in the badlands of Purgatoria. In a bid to build morale, the dangerous Samurai recounts three campfire stories to the nervous people of the village to help them overcome their fears of this dangerous new world.
The Midnight Foot Masseuse
A down on his luck chef encounters a demon living under his bed, a demon with a penchant for giving foot massages that somehow improves his life, but at what cost.
Plus a Few Upgrades
A tech savvy girl purchases a cursed videogame console from a car boot sale, and now she’s in the fight for her life whilst avenging her brother’s.
The Child’s Ward
A monster seeks weapons of mental mass destruction as an ignorant teen keeps vigil over a sick infant in the children’s ward of a hospital.
My review: This is speculative fiction for young adults. The audience around the camp fire appear to be much younger, but I definitely would not allow younger children to read the book as it might give them nightmares.
The stories within the book are tied together by the campfire gathering. And there is a reason for the children being told the stories, but I won’t spoil it for you. Just know that they are not random fables.
The stories themselves are … gruesome. Consider them, for the most part (except the last story), to border on horror. There is blood and guts, be warned. Fortunately, I’ve read my share of horror so I’m fine with it, but some people don’t like reading graphic fighting scenes. The book will not appeal to everyone.
I haven’t read any other Red Sun Village books, and this book didn’t give me enough information to know if the story fits in with the other books or not.
The stories vary. The first one felt totally different to the others. It was well written and held my interest and had a neat little twist at the end. The second story was based on gaming. I’ve played PlayStation games since the beginning and I’ve killed countless zombies during that time, so you could say I enjoy gaming. But the story was too long for me, and because of that, my attention waned. I guess I prefer to play the game, rather than read about it. But I feel certain that the target audience will feel part of the team and will love it. The last story felt a little disjointed. Or maybe I was slow in catching on because I have been unwell recently. I didn’t realise what was happening at first, so I felt confused. When I did catch on, it all made sense.
I liked the way everything was brought together at the end. That was well done. And I especially liked the very last message.
What I didn’t like about this book was the cover. To be honest, I would never chose to read the book based on the cover as it does absolutely nothing to catch my attention. Personally, I think that’s a shame as I believe many people make decisions to read books based on the cover alone. In my opinion, an updated cover would do wonders for the book overall.
Regardless of the cover, I believe the book will be well received by readers who enjoy details that allow the scene to be alive in their minds, and can envision themselves amongst the action.
I received a review copy of this book, and this is an honest review.