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Paige Reiring is a student at the Ohio State University studying English. She spends most of her days crying about fictional characters (as she's sure her readers do, too), playing video games, and sleeping. Spawn is her first published work, though she's been an active member on many forums dedicated to writing. She began her first feature-length novel when she was nine and shared the story, which was about a man named Nicotine who brutally murdered her parents and trapped her in a fantasy world, with her fourth grade class. She has been writing ever since (though that novel has been, thankfully, dropped).
on April 02, 2014 :
When a person has too much of a vice or a virtue, they spawn it from their body into controllable little monster pets to do their bidding. Alice has one of each and they help her in her job as a ruthless assassin. But one of her victims has spawned a huge vice, bigger than anything Alice has ever dealt with and that monster is coming to kill her.
This was a great story! I was first attracted to it by the hellishly creepy cover which would give anyone nightmares and the story itself was really creepy and full of tense action sequences. Don't let the shortness put you off as this book was well crafted and the ideas in it were totally different from anything I've read.
First, the plot. I loved this idea that if you were very virtuous or full of a vice, you would basically spawn it out of yourself and it becomes a seperate entity, loyal to you, like pet monsters. This was a seriously cool idea and I loved both of Alice's pets, Constraint and Mirror. Growing up, I think I might have spawned a few vices out of myself in this way if I could! In her job, she has left many angry and sad people behind and now one is determined to get revenge on Alice and has spawned a huge hate filled Wrath spawn who might prove too much even for an assassin. Despite the shortness of the book, I was totally caught up in the story from page one and it was laid out perfectly for the reader to enjoy with tension, monster attacks and a look inside the head of an assassin who for once is afraid. There is great inventiveness in the plot, Alice's view of her murders and how she fends off the big monster's attacks. It was a fresh story in the paranormal genre and I enjoyed it a lot.
Alice is basically a ruthless and heartless bitch who views her murders as works of art and can't understand why victim's families hate her or don't see the artistic value in what she does. She should be a totally unsympathetic character but she isn't. In an odd way I liked her and kind of rooted for her even though she is evil. It is a tribute to the author that I can like Alice despite her lack of compassion or heart, and it shows a great skill for character development. You can't help but adore Contraint and Mirror and wish you had a few of these guys as your own pets!
The only complaint is that I wanted more! I hope that the author writes more about Alice and her world, especially a fuller novel or three! I will certainly be looking out for this author and anything else that she writes. Excellent debut short story! I recommend this to fans of horror, urban fantasy, dystopia and paranormal.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Antonio Simon, Jr
on Sep. 10, 2013 :
Alice is extraordinary. For starters, she has spawned two supernatural creatures from her psyche, one representing her vanity, and the other her patience. As if that weren't enough, she is the best assassin money can buy. But with her notoriety comes grave danger - she has made many dangerous enemies in her line of work, all of whom want her dead. To make matters still worse, she becomes the target of nightly attacks by a horrifying shadow creature, the likes of which she has never seen.
This short story is the author's first published work, and it is, in a word, excellent. The writing is brisk, crisp, and visceral. The characterization, for so short a piece, is direct and appropriate. Alice is emotionally detached from her work, depicted not as a savage murderer but as an artist, one who contrives artful and fittingly ironic deaths for each of her contracts. We also see how she succumbs to her fears when she realizes the tables have turned and she is no longer the hunter but the hunted.
Definitely a good read. Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.
(reviewed the day of purchase)