Review: Limbus, Inc. / Author: Anne C. Petty / Publisher: JournalStone Publishing / Release Date: April 26th
When a bookshop owner is handed a loosely bound manuscript by a stranger, he initially dismisses the man as a crackpot. At least, until he begins to leaf through the contents of the manuscript, which contains a series of accounts dealing with a strange, secretive employment agency called Limbus Incorporated, who always provide the perfect employee for their client's needs, even though the job may not always be in the best interests of the person taking it.
Limbus, Inc. is a shared world anthology, its five stories linked together by an overarching narrative. And what an anthology it is. Stories cover a wide range of sub-genres, from straight up science fiction thriller to Lovecraftian horror and supernatural noir. In many respects, the stories often read like episodes of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits and this is no bad thing. All of the tales are well written, with interesting, realistic characters and a real sense of intrigue that drives the narrative forward.
Usually in anthologies of this nature, there are stories that stand out, and others that prove to be little more than filler to get the page count up. That was not the case with Limbus, Inc. The stories are all excellent, although Brett Talley's tale of Lovecraft-inspired terror, The Sacrifice, and Joe Nassise's cleverly written time travel story, One Job Too Many, were particular stand-outs. If there could be any criticism of the book, it's that Anne Petty's We Employ was tonally a bit lighter than the other stories, at least for the majority of the tale. That did not make it any less interesting, however, and provided a nice counterpoint to some of the darker stories.
Limbus, Inc. is a rare find. It's a shared world anthology that manages to end up greater than the sum of its parts. It is an intelligent, occasionally touching, often disturbing and always compelling piece of literature. Highly recommended.