Book Reviews

The War at the End of the World by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane at Storm Moon Press

Genre Gay / Historical / Paranormal / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 06-September-2012

Book Blurb

September, 1941.

War correspondent Joseph Byrne has been cheating death all his life, ever since he spent two years in an iron lung as a boy diagnosed with polio. In the years since, the Fetch, a strange being charged by Death with collecting Joseph and transporting him into the unknown, has been condemned to watch and wait.

Now, with Joseph working in a Finland caught in a tug of war between Nazi and Soviet forces, it seems a foregone conclusion that the Fetch's sentence is at its end and Death will have Joseph for her own at last. Joseph, an openly Jewish American, has no doubt where his allegiance lies, no matter the danger. But after all these years at Joseph's side, watching him overcome adversity to grow into a brave and principled young man, the Fetch has come to realize that there are forces stronger and so much sweeter than even the purpose you were made for.

Part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's Love is Always Write event.

Book Review

What if Death, or rather one of his helpers, were a person, a man with feelings of his own? Someone who wakes up one day and starts acting on his own principles rather than those "programmed' into him? That is the central idea behind this poignant, tear-inducing and utterly heart wrenching story about love triumphing in the most unlikely of situations.


The Fetch is the narrator of the story, and we don’t find out a lot about him. His thoughts about Joseph and his actions define him, but since he is a paranormal being of some type, I never really understood his background. Not that it was necessary, the message is about so much more than a biography or being able to put someone in a neat little box with some labels on it.


This is a very short story but has enormous depth and many layers. Short scenes illustrate how the Fetch's thinking develops, how his emotions get entangled in human affairs, and how he comes to  decision about Joseph and himself. The language is haunting and enabled me to picture what was happening with great accuracy and detail.  Most surprisingly, after this huge dose of cruel reality, it left me with a smile on my face. It is a manifesto against the cruelty of death, more specifically of war. If you like stories that make you think, if you like a few twists, and if you don’t mind reading about the brutal reality of war, then you will probably like this book.




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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 26 pages/10000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-June-2012
Buy Link