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Jul 23 2017

A Review of The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy

The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy

The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy

Not all short stories which have succubi appearing in them make them the core of the story. But it’s interesting how when they do appear the story turns, sometimes dramatically, towards them, focusing upon them. Part of that is, of course, their sexuality and temptation. But then again, sometimes it’s the teasing that is so much more delightful.

A review of a work that the author admits is very short, and while it is, there’s a sense of there being more than could come from this, offer the layers of story that are only but hinted at. Much like succubi in their teasing, written well a very short story can leave one wishing there was more to be seen.

The work tells the story of:

If you could have anything you wanted, once a year, in return for completing a simple task, would you do it? What if that task, was to let all of the demons out of hell, for a night of fun and carnage? Meet the GateKeeper.

The memoirs of The Gatekeeper who tells of his being roped into looking after a trapdoor to hell A door he must open but once a year, the creatures he encounters and the price to be paid by the unwary.

The work is a piece of flash fiction which mainly sets up the main character, The Gatekeeper, his situation, how he came to be there and what happens when he does as he has been tasked to. It’s not a work of horror or erotica, nor is it a simple telling of events. It’s very much the reflections of the main character about where he is, what he gets out of the deal, and the first time he opened the gate.

Being there’s no horror, nothing over the top, at times the story reads as a fairly bland narrative looking for something interesting to hold onto. Once that is found, at several points, then there’s life in the words and the reactions and that works quite well. There’s a lot of time spent in setting up the main character’s views on things, what he’s gotten out of the agreement, and why he can’t get out of it. That said, the first opening, and the creatures he sees, is a bit rote in that there’s no real communication or action. They appear, pause, then leave. Save for two, and they are very interesting.

Candy, there are two of them, are succubi and they are quite the unique pair of succubi. Upon their appearance in the work, they are the two characters that interact the most with The Gatekeeper, and it’s in a delightfully teasing and seductive way. The heat in a few short paragraphs is a real change from the story, and when it passes, their appearance lingers in many different ways.

The conclusion is a bit thin, again this is a short work and so there’s not much time spent in building on the rest of the story. Still, Candy’s effects are central, and I liked the idea of The Gatekeeper having to make a choice and knowing what might happen if he did so.

While well written and very interesting a flash, there’s a feeling that there’s a lot more than could have been done here. A number of dangling plots and thoughts offered places to take the main character, but he wasn’t. The succubi might have been something more, but didn’t manage it. There’s a good story here, one that I could see made into a series with all of the source material that lurks here. But there’s not quite the heat, the depth, or the character development that I wanted from the first page and that was a bit of a disappointment.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

It’s an interesting short little tease of a story, almost a summary in a way of something larger that I’d like to see. The idea of Candy is delightfully different and it was quite the surprise that I enjoyed. Still, as the author admits, this is a very short work, which left me wanting something more when the story was done.

Perhaps there’s a series in here somewhere, an exploration of what is entwined within these events and what the future holds for The Gatekeeper himself. There’s a really delicious thought about that, perhaps that might come sometime.

 

Tera

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