I received a free copy from Mr. Talley in exchange for an honest review. He's cool like that.
We have two books here by two different authors in one volume:
This was my first Shannon read and I've been looking forward to his stuff ever since I saw the cover art for Pain. I didn't find his story in this duet to be particularly ground-breaking but the writing was excellent. I'll go 3.5 stars for the story and 5 stars for the writing. I'll be checking him out again. His bibliography just invaded my tbr list. His story was much shorter than Brett's follow-up, The Reborn.
Brett Talley. Holy shit. I've read most of his work and consider myself a fan but this story was so imaginative that the premise alone gets five stars. I'm gonna do one of those idiot things and recommend this to "everyone."
(Nothing has ever been written that could possibly please everyone but I'm going with it anyway.)
This wasn't too heavy on the horror aspect; it was actually more sci-fi - but not too heavy there either. I'll call it "Near Future Speculative Fiction That Blew My Ass Away."
Therefore, it gets recommended to everyone. It tackles contemporary and frightenly real near-future possibilities. This is thriller ground. Not splatterpunk or anything I could think of as being specifically insensitive so everyone needs to grow a pair and read this one simply because I said so.
This 2 in 1 is highly recommended for Brett's story alone. It's one of the most imaginative stories I've read this year. It will make you think." Dare to think.