From the talented pen of Ashley Robin Franklin and the good folks at Silver Sprocket comes an exploration of relationships, cosmic horror, and eroticism in One Million Tiny Fires, released digitally yesterday.
Briana and Cassie moved out to the middle of no where to be alone, but the transition isn’t what they thought it would be. Being far from civilization and trying to be self sustaining is tough, and the strain reaches the couple before too long. One night after a fight Cassie is reflecting outside when they see a phenomenon occur. What follows is a transformation, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Briana is witness to the sexual and somewhat suspicious changes, unaware that the truth of what has happened is far more vast than anything witnessed before.
Ashley’s writing is ominous and continuously building on itself within the realm of cosmic horror. As we are presented with the issues between Briana and Cassie we start to feel a sense of unease, and as the story goes on that unease shifts from something mundane to something cosmic and dangerously powerful. With that power comes a new sexual energy that Briana welcomes, since it’s been so long for them. These moments show a lot about the two characters involved, as one character has a painful amount of pleasure and hope in each panel, but the tone of the panels feels quite opposite that. Adding to this is the dramatic lighting, typically presented from the moon or the “over abundant” stars. Though the book is gray scale (with the exception of the gorgeous foil cover) the way each element is shaded fills out the negative space, and what isn’t shaded makes Cassie and Briana’s world feel incredibly cold, adding to the general isolation of the story.
If I’m being honest, I had to hold back a bit in discussing this story. It crescendos in a cool and unexpected way, and the concepts feel grand… I don’t want to ruin it! Suffice it to say, One Million Tiny Fires was a great read. It really took me out of my head for a bit and put me in a frightening and compelling world. I’m pretty sure that the physical copy of this book was delayed (I’ll correct or update, whichever comes first) however the digital copy can be purchased here.
UPDATE 5/29: Silver Sprocket has confirmed the physical copy has been pushed to July.