The Familiar Stranger
By Brett McBean
Seth is a worker angel – one of many whose job it is to clean old souls, those soiled and broken and in need of cleaning in order to be recycled. But when Seth starts to doubt the veracity of his work, starts to wonder if old souls can truly be cleansed of their past evils, he decides to travel down to Earth and see what has become of one of the old souls..
Cassius ‘Corey’ Willis is living a colourless existence; stuck in a rut, he dreams of living a different life, of being somebody else. But when a mysterious stranger offers him the answer to his dreams, Cassius will learn the truth of his past. A past so stained with violence and bloodlust it refuses to be wiped clean . . . and a secret so horrific that it may shatter his very soul.
I wish I could remember how long people have been telling me to read Brett McBean.Â Seems like forever.Â Well, now that Necessary Evil Press has released this story in a beautiful, yet affordable chapbook edition, I finally get to check Brett’s stuff out.
Right off the bat, I can see why folks love McBean.Â His prose is sharp, clever, and more than a little brutal in a few spots.Â I wish I had writing chops like this guy.Â The prose just crackles!
The plot, on the other hand, feels a little clumsy.Â It appears Brett was trying to be mysterious, just falling short of explaining things.Â It’s entirely possible that I’m an idiot, but I just didn’t get it.Â The storyline jumps around through several different timeframes, and it all just gets jumbled in my brain.
I can’t wait to read more McBean, but this one just wasn’t my cup.