Posted on April 28, 2007 by Flames
Written by Janet Trautvetter, Sarah Roark, and Myranda Sarro
Shadows Run Deep
Three Shades of Night offers a look into each of the “big three” supernatural races of the World of Darkness; all three novellas in this book take place in Chicago, and all of them also involve a supernatural virus that is killing innocents throughout the city.
The first tale, by Janet Trautvetter, is called “The Murder of Crows” and follows the Mekhet vampire, Loki, on his quest to discover the person(s) responsible for the virus that is currently killing mortals throughout the city. Elders within the Kindred population believe that there may be a vampire “carrier” of the virus because some of the victims are among the regular herd of mortals the Kindred feed upon. Loki gets involved with a variety of characters throughout his hunt, including Kindred mentioned in other Requiem books (fiction and RPG alike). The Unholy makes an appearance or two, keeping Loki guessing as to her true motives and powers. The characters from the next two stories in Three Shades of Night also make short appearances in this story, hinting at what is yet to come later in the book. All-in-all, “The Murder of Crows” is the strongest of the three stories in the book.
“Birds of Ill Omen” by Sarah Roark is the Werewolf: the Forsaken tale of the book. The main character, Heartsblood, is not a Chicago native; he comes to Chicago by way of a vision about the city, hoping to stop the plague from spreading. Along the way he temporarily joins a local Pack of werewolves (eventually becoming the Pack Alpha for a time) and seeks clues to help him unravel the mystery. He learns a lot about the corruption that has built up in the city, talks to a few Spirits and even helps heal some of the Pack’s emotional wounds before moving on. “Birds of Ill Omen” is a bit of a difficult read at times; it seems that the reader needs to be familiar with Werewolf: the Forsaken in order to understand some of the terminology that Heartsblood is using. Even though at times it seemed a bit confusing, there was more than enough action to keep things interesting.
Myranda Sarro is the author of “Shadows and Mirrors” and wraps us the conspiracy with the Mage characters that made brief appearances in the first two stories. This story is hurt by the fact that “The Murder of Crows” and “Birds of Ill Omen” have already set-up much of the mystery and clued the reader in on some of the secrets. While the other two tales were complete stories of their own (and complimented each others’ events), “Shadows and Mirrors” relied on the assumption the reader was familiar with not only the Mage: the Awakening setting, but also with the first two stories of this collection.
Even with a few hard to follow chapters, Three Shades of Night is worth picking up if you are a fan of the new World of Darkness games.
Reviewer: Matt M McElroy
Look for World of Darkness books at Noble Knight Games.