THE GIFTS OF FATE by David T. Myers is an engaging urban fantasy / magical realism story set in Sydney. And honestly, that was enough to draw me in. As much as I love sci-fi and fantasy that takes me to different worlds, I always love a story that’s set in places I know, but transforms that place, puts it in a new perspective… One of my favourite examples of this is Fallada’s ‘Alone in Berlin’ – a story of ordinary berliners living in fear of the gestapo, of the nightly bombings, who begin a campaign of resistance against the Nazi party. I’ve been to Berlin, my mother’s family lived through the war there (much the same as Fallada’s characters), and the book really allowed me to explore what Berlin would have looked like during the 1930s and 40s.
So, THE GIFTS OF FATE is set in Sydney, which Myers describes very well, and he adds in a supernatural element, mystic forces, mysterious warring groups, deadly and terrifying shadows, and obscure objects of power and pain. The story focuses on Shilpy Chopra, who grew up amongst a cult. Shilpy escaped, but can’t escape the nightmares or the visions which continually plague her. She largely keeps herself, isolated from the world, but has Dusk, a handsome boyfriend with secrets of his own. The visions which have plagued Shilpy since her escape from the cult force her to contact fortune tellers, tarot card readers, looking for an insight, a cure, something to stop these visions. But these visits brings her to the attention of the cult she had escaped from, and soon they are on her trail. Shilpy’s recurring nightmares and visions revolve around Dusk being attacked and torn apart by vicious shadows, and soon elements of her nightmares begin to come true. How much danger is Dusk really in, and what – if anything – can she do to protect him?
All in all I was really impressed by this story. Probably the one thing (if I’m being super picky) was the transitions between Shilpy’s visions and her real life, or between one vision and the next, sometimes made me feel a little lost. Ultimately, THE GIFTS OF FATE is an engrossing, well-written story and I strongly encourage you all to check it out here!