Friday, July 4, 2014

[Rogues] Cherie Priest: "Heavy Metal"

Despite the alluring title, Heavy Metal is my least favorite piece in Rogues so far. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's just that the quality of the stories has been really high; and this one certainly has it's moments as well, in particular the most important scene, where the main character encounters something he has been looking for, is well written and exciting.
But for some reason this story didn't quite grab me the same way the others have done. Maybe because the beginning led me to believe the main character would indeed listen to some heavy metal as he figured out what was going on around the copper mine he's investigating, and then he turned out to be more of a modern day paladin complete with a bible as a shield. Somehow, this element of the story, making the main character into something like an exorcist, didn't work for me, because the story felt like it was going in a different direction for a while. I don't know. The first half of the story is more of a mystery, where the main character interviews persons trying to find out what's going on, and the second half is more of a fantasy, and I didn't feel the two sections hung together well enough to make it flow. The ending was left rather open - either I'm too dim or it was too open because I sure didn't grasp what it meant other than it felt either ominous or divine. Anyway, it was another short story read and to learn something from, and one cannot like everything. Technically it is well written and the dialogue feels right, so I am sure there are others who would count this story among the best in Rogues. Even though I feel this story is the least connected to the collection's theme. Next up is a familiar guy, Daniel Abraham.

TOR have, by the way, published an excerpt from Ian C. Esslemont's final novel in his Malazan Empire series, Assail. Me happy!


  1. I was somewhat confused by the ending as well.

  2. If you're dim, so am I. I can't tell if Kilgore was somewhat divine, or even what was the whole point of the story. I only grasped that the old lady planned the entire thing. It was the first tale of the anthology I read, and I found it really lame. Not that roguish, also...