The underground resistance movement is ready to make its move and Chicago’s Deputy Mayor Thierry Alexander is at the heart of it. Working under a corrupt mayor was part of his plan, but being monitored daily by the mayor and Chicago’s biggest gangs is getting old. Then the mayor makes a proposal—an Immigration Bill that will allow citizens of Chicago to cross the borders in and out of the city freely. But Thierry and his assistant-cum-lover Eduardo Chavez Morales—leader of the resistance, code name Cesar—are convinced is a ruse to cleanse the city of any cultural deviations however the mayor sees fit. Just as proof falls in their laps, trouble strikes the executive mansion and the plan is a go. But even when the good guys fight against a bigger, badder enemy, it doesn’t guarantee success.
Bonfire Heart is being released on December 19th individually (or now from the publisher site), but is also currently available as part of the Unconventional in Chicago anthology.
This is not a story I expected from the Unconventional group, but I liked it. Bonfire Heart is the story of two men who found love in the midst of chaos and ruin. It’s a spin on dystopia and searching for utopia, which is far from what this crew has brought us before. I found it to be very creative and exciting, full of action and intrigue. It’s a short story involving an established couple, and I’ve got to be honest, I would not have minded seeing the very beginning of that relationship. I’d bet it was a bit explosive and fiery.
I love what the author did with this world. Just a bit of back story, the Unconventional crew started the antho back before GRL in New Mexico, Unconventional at Best. They’ve put out a new one before each year’s GRL—Unconventional in Atlanta and now An Unconventional Chicago. I’ve followed along and own them all, but this one is off the beaten track compared to the other two, and I love it. The world building is unique in its marshal law type of society.
The one thing I didn’t like about this story was that Tomas was left hanging. I’m hoping that at some point there’s a story, whether it’s the continuation of Thierry and Eduardo’s story or a new story in itself that gives me some sort of resolution to Tomas’ disappearance. That being said, I have not yet read the rest of this antho so I am unsure if there is resolution to that storyline within one of those shorts, although I suspect not. That’s the only problem with releasing stories of a collaboration as individual shorts. Some pieces may be missed.
Overall, I really enjoyed Bonfire Heart and these characters. I look forward to reading the other stories related to his one someday as well as hopefully reading Tomas’ story.