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22 February, 2007

Book Review: Rags and Old Iron by Lorelei Shannon

Read and Reviewed for Frontstreet Reviews

College student Amy Sullivan is living a fairly normal, boring life. She spends her time attending classes and daydreaming about romance with handsome pirate captains and a dark and brooding lord of the manor. However, her life takes a turn when her nightly dreams start turning into nightmares, and hallucinations start creeping into her daily life. Amy’s friends express concern as she starts unraveling both physically and mentally.

A conversation with her friend Xavier, a Yaquai mystic, brings forth the idea that maybe Amy’s dreams are in fact memories that Amy repressed during her childhood. When Amy is rescued from being sexually assaulted by a familiar figure, her whole reality is thrown into turmoil. Her rescuer is Rags, a swamp demon, that Amy befriended as a six year old while visiting her grandparents in Florida. To her six-year old self, Rags was her Peter Pan. He was an elfin boy with the power to transform his flesh and control things with his thoughts. However, to Amy’s nineteen-year old self, Rags is a malevolent presence. His declarations of love and intentions of possessing Amy are disturbing to her, as is the very evilness of his nature. Amy and her friends are joined by Louis, a voodoo priest, and another friend of six year old Amy. His power combined with the protective powers of Xavier can help Amy in her quest to free herself of Rags’ presence. But is the power and love of her friends enough to save her from the evil thing that loves her as well?

Rags and Old Iron is a recent offering by Juno Books, a new imprint of Wildside Press specializing in paranormal romances. Rags and Old Iron takes readers on a journey from Arizona to Florida, and pulls the mystical and magical into modern life. I was impressed with how full the plot was without being overwhelming. The story resonates with magic, romance, and a sense of impossible things come to life.

Lorelei Shannon is the author of Vermifuge and Other Toxic Cocktails. A collection of dark fantasy and horror short stories published by Wildside Press. She lives outside of Seattle and spends her time when not writing being a goth mamma to her two boys and restoring her 1947 Cadillac hearse, Annabelle Lee

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