REVIEWED BY LARK
TITLE: Until I Fade: A Kol Anderson Anthology
AUTHOR: Kol Anderson
LENGTH: 330 pages
A collection of taboo, dark shorts.
(New Edited Version)
(A collection of brand new and previously published Kol Anderson taboo shorts. Newly edited and never before seen stories.)
Release Date: July 04, 2016
Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
Destiny is a strange thing. It can be fickle at times, and it can make you miss out on incredible connections that would set you on the journey of your lifetime. But the thing is, you’ll never know what you missed out on.
Sometimes Destiny takes pity on you and lets you meet the person you are supposed to, at just the right time. When Jensen first saw Liam, he lost his heart. Even if it took him a while to realize that. It’s okay, though. He had to grow and learn some more before he was the man Liam needed to save him from a life he was trapped in.
Supernatural forces collide to give Jensen the strength he needs to evolve into the man Liam waited his whole life for, and when their souls finally slam into each other, neither will be the same again.
WARNINGS: VIOLENCE, DUB-CON, NON-CON, ABUSE, VIOLENCE
It’s the worst feeling in the world, seeing him with someone else. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do, no limits I won’t go to get him back. But he won’t give me a chance. He won’t so much as look at me because he thinks I don’t belong to him anymore.
But that’s the whole thing.
I don’t belong anywhere.
Doesn’t matter where I go or who I am with I am always alone. There is something wrong with me, there has to be because no one else seems quite as miserable at being without a master.
But don’t we all owe our freedom to something?
People are slaves, aren’t they? To their jobs, to their partners, to their children, even to their lifestyles?
We all have those little kinks that we don’t tell anyone about, because we think we’re going to be judged for them, and because we’re slaves to society’s rules.
In a world where slavery is the norm I’m a slave to my needs.
And I need to get him back.
WARNINGS: HARDCORE BDSM, DUB-CON, NON-CON
Samuel “Sin” Taylor doesn’t know the difference between sex and intimacy, but maybe that’s not his fault. He grew up in a world where it was easier to get physical pleasure than to find love. But as a prostitute working the streets, Sin thinks he’s finally found his true calling. After all sex is the one thing he’s good at, right? But when Isaac enters his life through mere coincidence, Sin finds it a relief to be someone other than Sin.
How long can he keep up the charade?
WARNINGS: DUB-CON, NON-CON, ABUSE, VIOLENCE, DRUG USE
Ever felt like the world thinks you’re crazy? Welcome to my world. I tried normal, but eventually the truth catches up to you. Thank God for Evan, he believes me. But no man is a saint, and eventually the stories of aliens and tentacles and kidnappings just become too much for anyone to believe anymore.
But I know what happened. I know what they did to me. The voices are calling me back now. They’re calling me to be with her, my daughter. And I can’t resist it anymore.
WARNINGS: ABUSE, SELF HARM, OFF PAGE NON-CON AND KIDNAPPING, VIOLENCE
Kol starts out gently, his voice like a lover’s tempting whisper in the dark. His poetry sets the stage for what will be four very different stories within an extremely well-written anthology, and the tone carries on throughout. There’s desperation and hope, desolation and solace; there’s pain and relief, peace and terror. It all goes on through these pages. There are similarities in the four stories, but overall, they couldn’t be more different.
There’s an almost dreamlike quality to these stories, something that lures you in and refuses to let you go until the end. I found myself highlighting line after line of beautiful words that appealed to me and I wanted to remember.
In Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, we get a taste of the paranormal set against the backdrop of a world that seems grim for the characters involved. I want to know more about the characters and the world; my only complaint is that I’m not a huge fan of insta-love angles. But this line: “I don’t need you to feel sorry for me, that’s not what I want. I want you to love me” more than made up for it.
Slave follows the path of a broken-hearted sub whose master turned his back on him, and he tries to find solace anywhere and everywhere he can. There’s a surreal feeling to the entire peace, as though I’m in a dream that I can’t fully awake from. I’m not sure what I like better — the opening poem or the story itself. I loved Jesse, and everything he did felt real throughout the entire piece.
And then there was Sin. Sin isn’t for the faint of heart — and while I don’t consider myself particularly faint of heart, I think mine broke all the same. Those with issues involving incest and rape should steer clear of this one completely. There’s just enough hope to keep my heart from being completely crushed, but I noted at this point that the anthology is steadily darkening.
Finally, there’s Fugue. Fugue isn’t my type of story, but it’s an interesting one all the same. It follows a young man who believes he’s been tortured by aliens and his doctor, who’s desperate to help someone he feels has been failed by others. There are points where you can’t be sure if it’s a sci-fi short or a short on the effects of mental illness, but either way, the effect is profound.
Overall, the taboos mentioned in the tags and above are very much a present part of the stories, but they aren’t dwelled upon for too long. There’s just enough detail to let you know what’s going on, and then Anderson continues with the story: because this is all about the story, not the taboos.
RATING: I loved it! (Even if it is going to haunt me for a while)
DARK ARTS CATEGORIES:
Abuse, Angst, BDSM, Captive, Drug Addiction, Drugging, Dub-con, Dub-con BDSM, Forced Incest, Incest, Kidnapping, M/M Horror, Non-con, Non-consensual BDSM, POV of Victim, Psychological Trauma, Rape, Rough Sex, Sex Trafficking, Sex Worker, Slave, Taboo, Underage