|Art by Goni Montes|
"Kia and Gio" by Daniel José Older (5498 words)
This story does not disappoint. And it makes me want his book that much more. I don't think I can resist anymore. It's great, though, the story of a young woman coming to terms with an old loss and taking some steps in facing the ghosts of the past. Nicely layered, Kia's confrontation in the present with a ghost mirrors nicely her confrontation with the lingering ghost of her cousin (even if he's not for-sure dead). All of that while teasing a mystery that started in the past filled with strange creatures and anime/manga-inspired fight scenes. This is all the things I like to read. It works as it's own story, as Kia dealing with her feelings and helping a client with his problem. It also works beautifully as a teaser for the novel. Because so many tantalizing questions are left. Who were the men in the past who fought with Gio? What happened to Jeremy? Is Gio really dead? They torture me and have done their job well enough that I must spend money to buy this book and find out what gets answered. It's well done and the tone is instantly engaging, the setting intriguing. I want to read more of this, and that I can makes it all the better. And I'm gushing now. Ahem...