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Nightfall is the prime time for terror....

In the jungles of Vietnam, hell on earth awaits a troop of unsuspecting GIs. A greedy gravedigger faces deadly repercussions for stealing from the dead. And love comes with a terrible price when a lonely woman turns to a witch to fulfill her heart’s desires.

Plunge into darkness with Scare Street’s new collection of bone-chilling terror. This demonic volume contains 13 sinister tales of supernatural horror. Enough to keep you listening into the darkest hours of the night.

Things look different in the moonlight. The branches of a tree become a monster’s claws. The shadows around your window seem like wraiths, rising from the underworld. And the space beneath your bed becomes the perfect spot for a snarling beast to hide....

But don’t worry. Soon, the sun will rise, and everything will go back to normal. Assuming you make it through the night...

This collection contains:

"Search and Destroy" by Richard Beauchamp

"As Seen from Above" by Dustin Walker

"The Gravedigger" by Daniel J. Bickley

"Cuckoo, Cherry Tree" by R.G. Evans

"The Sanction" by Damir Salkovic

"The Old Man's Neighbor" by Gordon Dunleavy

"The Witch of the Woods" by Jamie Zaccaria

"Suzumebachi" by Matthew McKiernan

"With Lying Tongues, with Words of Hatred" by Spencer Koelle

"Silver Maples" by Tim Jeffreys

"The Strange Journey of James Booth" by Justin Boote

"The Summer with No Tourists" by Alethea Avery

"Children's Home" by Ron Ripley 

©2020 Scare Street (P)2020 Scare Street

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  • Spencer
  • 13-04-21

Solid Block of Varied Horror well-read

First, the readers were both excellent. Tone was maintained while nuance was added, and Stephanie Shade really added dimension and flavor to "With Lying Tongues, With Words of Hatred" without being obtrusive or going overboard.

This book had consistent good quality, overall. Not the most original, but good spooky stories that horror fans will enjoy reading. Its highs aren't as high as some collections, but its lows aren't as low, and there's enough flare and spice to keep it interesting.

The stories that really didn't work for me were "The Sanction", "The Old Man's Neighbor" and "Ōsuzumebachi". "The Sanction" was well-written, but left me scratching my head. "Ōsuzumebachi" really should have gone through a workshop or several more drafts before seeing the light of day, with jarring tense and time period confusions and a hazy, dislocated PoV. Then "The Old Man's Neighbor" was stylistically fine, but really short on internal logic, and the supernatural events were too arbitrary and inconsistent to keep me grounded. Maybe I'm a little put off because the beginning made me think it was going to be a more interesting story idea than the one the author went with.

"Search and Destroy", "The Gravedigger", "The Strange Journey of James Booth" and "Children's Home" are all pretty satisfying WYSIWYG stories. Not a lot of surprises, but not disappointing either. I'd probably rate Strange Journey the highest out of them, as it taps into a rich vein of resonance regarding unsettling experiences on public transportation.

"As Seen From Above" is well-grounded in a solid, introspective character you want to succeed, and has a pretty good perspective shift in what starts out straightforward and familiar. "Cuckoo, Cherry Tree" is a wonderful blend of gore and surprising restraint, where the graphic sights we do see stoke our imagination and so much about the nature of the terror is left pleasantly vague and unspoken. I'm left with engaging questions about the nature and motivations of the threat.

"Silver Maples" is a chilly, atmospheric piece, with a good amount of lore and distance. It's biggest flaw is that it over-explains a bit near the end, but that doesn't spoil it by any means.

"The Summer of No Tourists" would have to be the star of the collection, simply due to the exquisite rendition of its framing device, a large-scale catastrophe through the narrow and distorted lens of an eight-year-old child. Be warned though, this one might strike a bit too close to home with recent events.