I picked up “Tales of the Rook” for the Kindle. The book was a fun, quick three-hour read. I’ve been a fan of Barry Reese’s Rook character for a while now and have read a few of the short story collections he’s put together for it (those I could find for sale in e-versions).
My favorite stories from the collection were “The Killing Games” by Reese, “Where There’s Smoke” by Bobby Nash, and “The Curse of Baron Samedi” by Percival Constantine. I do admit to be a little confused by Constantine’s work in that I had no idea why it took place in the future, where everything else I’ve read had been a different Rook character set in the 30s/40s, but that was no fault of the author’s.
The rest of the stories were a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality, most feeling like they were the rougher reads of less polished authors than Reese, Nash and Constantine.
My biggest complaint about the book is that it features none of the interior illustrations by George Sellas promised in the front matter of the eBook. I’m not sure why, in this day and age, interior art isn’t included in an eBook, or why the really cool front cover was in such low resolution. I felt like I was missing out.
All-in-all, Tales of the Rook is a fun book for those biding their time for the next “real” Rook collection.
First off, thanks for the review, Mat! Sorry that Percival’s story threw you for a loop — his story is set in the time-frame inhabited by Ian Morris, who appeared in “The Black Mass” (The Rook Volume One) and “The Four Rooks” (The Rook Volume Four). If you haven’t read those stories, you might be unfamiliar with that version of The Rook. It’s all listed in the timeline in the back of each book. I assume the timelines are included in the eBook version but I’ll have to check to make sure.
I don’t think Pro Se includes the interior art in any of their Kindle releases. I wish they did because George’s interior pieces are gorgeous. The image with this post is from Percival’s story so you can see a bit of what you missed out on.
Glad you enjoyed the book and took the time to review it!