Cold Light of Day Review
This is from Index Nocturnus, whose review and podcast site can be found here.
"Cold Light of Day by Rob Sanders
A Warhammer short story review by Leon. Published in Tales of the Archive.
This story was previously published in Inferno! After finishing this story I was confused. We have Kislev, a whaling ship, the high seas, an heiress assuming her father's place as one of the heads of a company, an Ahab/Moby Dick theme, the Marie Celeste, nefarious double-crosses and other shenanigans. A lot happens in this story, covered in about 24 pages of narrative, but the changes happen speedily enough that just as you think this is a predictable tale of man vs whale, everything is flipped on its head.
While, like Moby Dick, revenge is a strong theme, the conclusion of the story sees it explored from another angle. However, I can't shake the feeling that this was a pitch for a longer tale which was shoe-horned into a short story when not taken up. Having said that, Sanders can write. He sets his scenes well and manages to build characters quickly and, with the captain at least, set layers of personality which establish a well-rounded character, albeit one of simple motivations. One can almost taste the sea spray and shiver along with the crew, as they sail ever further north. I would love for this to have been a novel and allow Sanders room to round out one or two other characters and explore his themes further. 4/5"