A review of R. Crowle Gray’s “The Revenant Threat” in OnSpec #94, vol 25 no 3
By Derek Newman-Stille
We all have one of those friends who defies all of the theories of Darwinian evolution by making perpetually stupid decisions and still managing to survive. R. Crowle Gray appropriately names this frat boy type of character Darwin and in “The Revenant Threat”, his friend Tristan has to bail him out of another bad situation he has gotten into as a result of his YOLO attitude about decision-making. Darwin returns from a night of poker and drinking with a bag full of money, a new watch, and a writing, growing tattoo that radiates bad vibes. Darwin assumes that the tattoo was just another bad drunken decision, but Tristan can see the air of the supernatural haunting this bad choice – something about this tattoo radiates “death mark”.
Not bothering to tell Darwin about his poor choice, which could turn him into an evolutionary dead end, Tristan seeks to fix Darwin’s mistake without consciously involving him – only asking him a minimum of questions about how he acquired his new death mark and literally distracting him by turning on the television or pointing out pretty girls to him.
Gray mixes a bit of magic with characters that we can all relate to – those loveable fools who can’t help but get themselves into trouble and the intellectual badasses who find creative ways to bail them out of trouble through creative uses of wit, and, if not magic, at least a bit of the miraculous.