I'm never quite sure how to review short story collections, so bear with me. These stories all share a sense of unease and creeping dread, which is something I enjoy in my ghost stories. There are plenty of spooky ghosts, unsettling scenarios, and narratives that leave your skin crawling. They have a feeling of tapping into urban legends and traditional folk tales (though I don't know enough about Vietnamese culture to say whether that is accurate or not). The connective tissue that holds these stories together is a different ghost though - the specter of the Vietnam War looms in the background of all of these stories, grim and devastating.
I enjoyed this collection, and it satisfied my spooky October itch, but it never fully blew me away. I couldn't really say why other than it's really hard to wow me with shorter fiction. I will say many of the stories share a similar structure and part of that structure includes abrupt endings. This didn't bother me, per se, but it did start to feel repetitive when reading the collection straight through. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had spaced the stories out in between other fictions. All in all this is a solid collection, and I'm glad I read it. If you're looking for ghost stories with a Vietnamese flavor these will likely satisfy.
This book is soooo cheesy!
The cover truly is the best thing about it. The writing is barely one step above rank amateur. The !s are becoming more and more prominent. The characters have all the substance of tissue paper. The nefarious nephew, prompted by his greedy mother, attempting to take advantage of the wealthy old woman who is his aunt! The kindly old judge, deprived of speech and mobility by a stroke but still able to communicate his warnings! And his suspicions! The young lawyer, not only handsome but filled with integrity and honesty! The doddering old servant, fierce in her loyalty!
And of course the monster! Half human, grotesque! Stalking the mansion in the dark of night! Staring at the beautiful young heroine while she sleeps!
The beautiful young heroine who bears a striking resemblance to the wealthy old woman's murdered daughter-in-law! The beautiful young orphaned heroine who might be the wealthy old woman's missing granddaughter!
I think my eyes have rolled out of my head and fallen over the mysterious cliffs of Fog Island at least twenty times, and I still have almost 80 pages to go!
I picked these up at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival and seeing a recent post about ALICE IN WONDERLAND reminded me that I forgot to share them.
Aren't they just the BEST?
This is the Etsy shop of the ladies that made them:
Take 20% Off Any Script from the Crypt
Can your heart stand the shocking truth behind your favorite horror/sci-fi films? The Scripts from the Crypt series peals back the veil to give readers heretofore untold behind-the-scenes stories. Marvel at the detailed production histories of films like Dracula's Daughter, The Hideous Sun Demon, Bride of the Gorilla and more.
Take 20% off any Script from the Crypt title with the discount code SFTC20 at checkout until midnight on Halloween -- 12:00 AM E.T. Wednesday October 31, 2018.
How to order:
Dr. Wesley Britton,
Author, The Beta Earth Chronicles