Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild
About The Book
You can’t fly away from destiny.
Crow Rapp assumes he’ll spend his life growing corn in rural Illinois, like the grandparents who raised him. But during a visit to a traveling carnival, he encounters a handsome stranger named Simeon Bell—and receives a prophecy of a horrifying future. When that future materializes soon afterward, Crow flees… only to find that no matter how far he goes, fate pursues him.
Simeon reenters his life a decade later and causes Crow to consider whether actively fighting his fate might be better than constant attempts at escape. In a world tinged by magic, where myths are as real as the sky above them, the men try to determine Crow’s true identity. Along the way, they test the powers of friendship and love and explore the boundaries of free will—ultimately discovering whether the force of destiny can be overcome.
Crow’s Fate is part of the multi-author Carnival of Mysteries Series. Each book stands alone, but each one includes at least one visit to Errante Ame’s Carnival of Mysteries, a magical, multiverse traveling show full of unusual acts, games, and rides. The Carnival changes to suit the world it’s on, so each visit is unique and special. This book contains an Illinois farmboy, a roustabout from London, and realizations about the power of love.
Crow Rapp knows he’s different. He just doesn’t know how different he is until his eighteenth birthday, when his world burns down around him.
Abandoned by his mother as an infant and raised on an Illinois farm by his grandparents, Crow’s life feels as if it fated to be one of flight and pursuit for no reason that he can understand. Then he runs into Simeon Bell, a roustabout at a traveling carnival, who seems to be from another place and time. Simeon becomes his sidekick—and then his spiritual guide—as the two young men face the hair-raising adventure of a lifetime.
It is very hard to write about this book, because that last sentence sounds phony. It’s not untrue, but the story as Kim Fielding has written it is far more cerebral and emotional than the words “hair-raising adventure” can convey. Crow’s journey is one of the soul, a struggle to understand who and how he is supposed to be in the world.
This is a horror story, and a love story, and would translate beautifully to the screen with the right cast. Crow is a fascinating character, but Simeon is remarkable. Simeon brings wonder back into Crow’s desperate life, filled with a generosity of spirit that seems unimaginable in someone who has been through what he has.
And that, perhaps, is the crux of this book: it’s really about relationships among the various players in the drama. The plot is necessary, and quite cleverly crafted to keep the reader on edge all the way through; but it is the evolving personalities of Crow and Simeon that drive the book emotionally. Crow is confused and isolated by what seems to be his fate—stunted in every way. Simeon, who has always accepted his fate with the shrugging attitude of a survivor, sees in Crow the opportunity to help his friend become more than he believes he is, while experiencing for himself a world he could never have imagined.
Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.
Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.
By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.
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