Here if you want to download it yourself; I'm a sucker for free reading so downloaded it straight away. It's only twenty pages long so was just the right size for reading on my phone.
This relative brevity works against 'The Penitent Damned' if you're after a book that sheds more light on the world Wexler has created. There simply isn't enough room for that although some of the hints that Wexler drops have got me eager to be reading 'The Thousand Names' soon (and I now have a copy). No, what 'The Penitent Damned' is all about is delivering a sharp burst of 'Sword and Sorcery' (given the setting, maybe 'Pistol and Sorcery'?) that promises good things from Wexler's longer work.
Alex is a master thief who may just have bitten off more than she can chew with her latest job. Stealing from the headquarters of the Concordat was never going to be easy but it will be practically impossible given that they already know she is coming. Luckily, Alex has a few tricks up her sleeve but so do the agents of the mysterious Black Priests...
'The Penitent Damned' makes for a great way to spend half an hours reading time and has got me fired up for tackling 'The Thousand Names'. It has everything you would expect from a tale of midnight thievery (humour, action and a killer twist right at the end) and it is all delivered very neatly albeit perhaps a little too abruptly. This is where the length of the book really works against itself with Wexler showing off what he can do but not really able to really run with it. Instead, the humour is quickly packed away so the action can be wheeled out, then the action is quickly packed away so Wexler can deliver the twist. Don't get me wrong, I loved that ending; it's just that the speed of the plot felt a little artificial and not in keeping with what was actually happening.
You know what though? I can't really knock a book that shows you what Spiderman would have been like if he lived in a fantasy world and could kill people with his webbing :o) I wonder if we will see Alex again? I hope so as I want to find out what happens to this cocky young thief (it doesn't look good for her, at all). I guess I'll have to make 'The Thousand Names' a priority read. Has anyone here read it?