Generally, I like to read short stories in between longer reads, so it takes me a long while to make it through an anthology this big. The stories here are creative and the subject matter varies wildly from one to the next. They all offer a window onto the dark side and all that that entails. I liked almost all of these stories, but these are the ones I liked the most:
REFUGE by Lee Mountford. This tale only reinforces what we already know from horror films. Never turn down an isolated dirt/gravel road late at night. The houses that tend to be at the end of those roads are never filled with hospitality, in fact, it’s almost always exactly the opposite.
MISDIALE by Mark Lukens is scary at first and then you might feel a false sense of security thinking that it’s all rather silly. But then your mind keeps working, thinking about what you might do in the same situation. Creepy and uneasy stuff, right here.
Mike Duke, John R. Little, (I’ve liked this author since I read his book THE MEMORY TREE, back in the day), Shaun Hutson, Lee Murray and Andy Lennon all contributed great tales to this mix.
GOBSTOPPER by Kyle M. Scott was tale about a desperate boy , tired of being bullied. There’s always a massive well of emotions from which to draw horrific narratives when you’re talking coming of age stories.
Tim Curran’s story knocked my socks off as always, as did Christopher Motz’s LOVE ON A ROOFTOP. Sometimes a couple has grown so far apart they can’t even see the bridge that originally brought them together. THE DARK SIGN by Christina Bergling was simply magnificent. So well crafted, that it’s difficult to fathom how tightly written it really was, not a wasted word anywhere.
THE DUFFLE BAG by Douglas Hackle was freakishly entertaining, disgusting and fun all at once. Bravo!
Finally, my favorite story: THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by Lex H. Jones was a melancholy journey for a father and daughter. Sometimes even the best of fathers run out of choices.
My only issue was that I wish there had been more female authors included within. There was only one here, to the best of my knowledge, but she knocked it out of the park!
Overall, this was a marvelous collection of stories that ran the gamut of the horror genre. Hopeful tales and ones with no hope at all. Gory tales and some without a drop of blood. A bit of Splatterpunk and a smidge of Bizarro. It’s all here and you don’t want to miss it! Highly recommended!
Thanks to Andy Lennon for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!