This was an interesting collection of 3 short stories, focusing on deceit, that showcases Alleva’s talent. While I didn’t connect well with the first story, The Calculated Desolation of Hope, it was very well-written and William made for a good main character.
The next story, Somnium was more to my taste, and I enjoyed it. I liked Charlie and felt bad for him because, despite his background, he has hopes in life. Jimmy, on the other hand, he was a cunning bad guy and a good character. The two don’t interact peacefully, that’s for sure.
Knickerbocker was a great retelling of The Headless Horseman. We meet Isaac Crane, not to be confused with the well known Ichabod, a man who is starting a new teaching position. The school seems to have its quirks, starting with the Headmaster who is lovingly called Headmaster. Isaac knows the students mock him behind his back, but he’s good at what he does, and his teaching skills will win the kids over.
There’s a distraction at school for Isaac, and her name is Corina. But Brand, a fellow teacher, is laying claim to Corina and warning him off. Will everything come to head on the anniversary of the ride of The Headless Horseman?
I always think with collections such as this, that one story will particularly stand out to the reader, and that’s what happened to me. I feel that Alleva could expand on Knickerbocker and turn it into a full-length book. This is a good compilation of short stories, showcasing Alleva’s abilities in different writing styles and is very nicely done.