Review: Nine Parts Bluster by A.Z. Anthony

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This is a pretty sweet photo, but the graphic around the title really makes it.

Time for a short story! Sometimes it’s nice to just get away for 20 minutes or so and read a nice little dark fantasy, yes? I received a free copy of this particular story in exchange for an honest review. So here it is! 😀

A monster stalks the ever-dark of Murkwater swamp.

A creature of nightmare made flesh. Though no one has properly seen it, the rumors about it are as abundant as the slashed and torn corpses it leaves in its wake. It’s wonderful news, assuming, of course, that you’re Senesio Suleiman Zhao, famed monster hunter, Champion of the People, and murderous egotist.

“Nine Parts Bluster” is a dark fantasy short story of fame, betrayal, and the monsters that inhabit our world.

Except that it doesn’t take place in our world, blurb… >.> Not unless someone renamed China and Persia and never told me.

Money changed men. Made them greedy, made them fearless, made them do damned stupid things.

Enter Senesio Suleiman Zhao, master monster hunter and wearer of ridiculous beaver hats, and his faithful scribe, Chen, who is tasked with writing down all the exploits of one Senesio Suleiman Zhao, master monster hunter and wearer of ridiculous beaver hats.

Senesio is, as the title suggests, nine parts bluster and one part actual skill. Chen knows it, but he may be the only person who really knows the truth of the situation. So, when a terrifying beast shows up in the swamp, Senesio takes Chen and a group of men from the town into the swamp after it.

The monster, a wendiguar (which I assume is a wendigo and a jaguar combined, which does sound goddamn terrifying if you know the mythos behind the wendigo and then tack a jaguar onto it), is a creature that some claim to have seen, but nobody really knows for sure what it looks like. It could be two-legged, or four-legged, depending on who you talk to. It’s said to be able to mimic the voice of men, but even that’s only rumor.

Of course, being a master monster hunter, Senesio dispatches the wendiguar, but the truth of Senesio’s methods is the real driving force behind this little gem of a story. All is not, in fact, what it seems. Nine parts bluster, and one part skill…. and selfishness, greed, heartlessness, narcissism, and sheer determination to do a thing and get every bit of the glory for it.

e9c1c-wendigo
The wendigo: eating people since forever.

Nine Parts Bluster was short, not at all sweet, but it was certainly entertaining! I quite enjoyed my twenty minutes or so with it, and I think you might too!

You can pick up a copy here: US | UK | CA | AU

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