Friday 9 June 2017

Shadows And Teeth: Ten Terrifying Tales Of Horror And Suspense (Book Review)

My Review

This is a wonderful collection of strange stories, with a variety of different themes, by a variety of different authors. While none of them scared me per se, some of them really freaked me out.

I particularly enjoyed the Pied Piper story, about a championship eater (of all things) with a chip on his shoulder. Spawn stuck with me as well, but only because it was just plain weird.

Other stories were less memorable, as is often the case with collections like this. I had to look back at the table of contents to remember what some of them were, so here's a really quick synopsis of each:

Water, Ice, And Vice by Antonio Simon Jr.: A geeky guy moves in with a jock, and discovers a magic wish-granting refrigerator in their new apartment. I never really got into this one.

The Dinner Party by Trevor Boelter: Interesting concept. It starts out with a woman preparing food in the kitchen while dinner guests get slowly sloshed in the lounge. There's a pretty cool twist that made me sit bolt upright and pay attention, but until the twist happened, I was pretty bored.

Routine by Mia Bravo: I actually really enjoyed this one, but forgot all about it by the time I reached the end. It's very weird, about a guy plagued by weird nightmarish creatures.

The Final Spell by Mark Meier: This story grabbed my attention early on, because of its uniqueness. The entire story is written in the second person, which is very rare, and very difficult to pull off. It's about a wizard relating the story of how he taught the reader magic. I liked the moral at the end.

Back Through The Mist by J.S. Watts: It was... okay, but battled to hold my attention. It's basically a British murder mystery with a paranormal twist and links to ancient Roman mythology. If you enjoy that type of thing, you'll probably like it, but it wasn't my cup of tea.

Spawn by Paige Reiring: Some people have emotions so strong that they're able to create magical creatures known as "Spawn". One such person is an assassin who uses her Spawn to help her ply her trade.

The Pied Piper's Appetite by Rich Phelan: This is the one I mentioned earlier. I can't say too much about it without spoiling it, but you'll love it. The price of the book might even be worth it for this story alone!

Riana In the Gray Dusk by Viktoria Faust: The memoir of a photographer who had a weird encounter with a woman years ago. It's the shortest of the bunch, and while I thought it had potential, it didn't really go anywhere for me.

The Autobiography of An Unsuccessful Author by Brittany Gonzalez: Am I the only author who gets drawn to stories about authors? This one's not bad; it's about a has-been author who tries his hand at a completely different genre. In his case, horror. Weird things ensue.

Crying by Darren Worrow: Oddly enough, I'd just read this story a few weeks before, as a standalone. It's about a guy reminiscing about his childhood, specifically about an old painting that he and his gran used to look at. He discovers some weird things about the painting's history. Generally speaking, Worrow's a comedy writer, not a horror one, so there are elements of comedy in here. It's still pretty deep, though, and makes you think.

So that's it. Some good, some bad... but more good than bad. If you're into weird things, I think these stories are definitely worth a read.

My rating: 4 / 5 stars

About the Book

Prepare for extreme horror. You have in your hands the first volume in our award-winning series. This unique collection of ten stories features a range of international talent: award-winning authors, masters of horror, rising stars, and fresh new voices in the genre. Take care as you reach into these dark places, for the things here bite, and you may withdraw a hand short of a few fingers.

Water, Ice, And Vice, by Antonio Simon, Jr.
– Jeremy's new apartment harbors a demonic wish-granting fridge, which he uses to exact bloody vengeance on his obnoxious roommate.

The Dinner Party, by Trevor Boelter
– A dinner party devolves into a massacre when the blood flows as freely as the wine.

Routine, by Mia Bravo
– Edward's life is neat and orderly, just the way he likes it. It doesn't stay that way for long once bizarre apparitions threaten to end his life, and worse – break his daily routine.

The Final Spell, by Mark Meier
– Ken, a modern-day wizard, risks life and liberty in pursuit of the ultimate magick. How far will he go to obtain limitless power?

Back Through The Mist, by J.S. Watts
– Police Sergeant Comberton's investigation of a baffling murder strains her resolve to its breaking point. When the enquiry takes an otherworldly turn, she questions whether the past holds the key to her future.

Spawn, by Paige Reiring
– Assassin-for-hire Alice's personality is so keen, it can kill. She'll need every edge she can get when the hunter becomes the hunted.

The Pied Piper's Appetite, by Rich Phelan
– A competitive eater leads a ghastly double life in pursuit of a gruesome personal crusade.

Riana In The Gray Dusk, by Viktoria Faust
– A hastily taken photograph leads to a shocking revelation and a rare glimpse at a singular individual.

The Autobiography Of An Unsuccessful Author, by Brittany Gonzalez
– A one-hit-wonder's search for inspiration blurs the line between reality and insanity, with horrifying results.

Crying, by Darren Worrow
– Vinny's research into an urban legend about a haunted painting reveals more about himself than he ever dared to ask.

Buy the Book

The e-book is available at a variety of online retailers. Click here to see them all.

If you're in South Africa and prefer paperbacks, you can get it from Loot for (at the time of this writing) R310.

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