cover image Pieces of Hate

Pieces of Hate

Tim Lebbon. Tor, $12.99 trade paper (148p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8844-5

Lebbon (The Silence) brings the piratical Caribbean to life in this collection of linked stories. The Caribbean teemed with pirates, privateers, and fantastic battles, but it never saw a battle like the vendetta that Gabriel has pursued against Temple, the demonic being that slaughtered his family. Drowning in grief and anger, Gabriel accepts power from a man with snake eyes and uses it to hunt Temple down. After six centuries and a dozen encounters where Gabriel loses every time, his immortal body accumulates scars that never quite heal and grow intensely painful when he is close to Temple. Finally, Gabriel finds the demon again as it prepares to kill the famous English privateer Henry Morgan. This time Gabriel has a pirate crew at his back, but this may only mean more sheep for the slaughter. The action is cutlass-sharp and the encounters between Gabriel and Temple are both brutal and chilling. Placing the 19th-century story "Dead Man's Hand" first dilutes the power of the titular 17th-century piece following it, since readers will already know the outcome of the earlier encounter. This likely won't matter to Lebbon's fans, however, who will be pleased to have all these works in one place. (Mar.)