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review 2017-06-10 16:11
Review: You Will Grow into Them by Malcolm Devlin
You Will Grow into Them - Malcolm Devlin

 

I would like to thank Unsung Stories for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

The world is a far stranger place than we give it credit for. There, in the things we think familiar, safe, are certain aspects. Our fears and desires given form. Moments that defy explanation. Shadows in our home.

In Malcolm Devlin’s debut collection, change is the only constant. Across ten stories he tackles the unease of transformation, growth and change in a world where horror seeps from the everyday. Childhood anxieties manifest as debased and degraded doppelgängers, fungal blooms are harvested from the backs of dancers and London lycanthropes become the new social pariahs. The demons we carry inside us are very real indeed, but You Will Grow Into Them.

 

 

'You Will Grow into Them' is a solid selection of short stories. The stories are varied and different and have a dark unsettling undercurrent. The author's writing style is engaging and draws the reader in, he manages to give the reader just enough information to get the story across while at the same time leaving room for the reader's imagination. This allows the reader to fill in the gaps and to embrace the strangeness and fantastical and let their imagination run with it.

 

While I didn't find them to be scary, I did enjoy the strangeness and unsettling feel of them. They made me think, had me reading between the lines and contemplating the effect and affect, and the reasoning behind what was taking place. I can't say I was a fan of every story in the collection, some stood out more than others. My two favourites in the collection were 'Her First Harvest' and 'We All Need Somewhere to Hide'.

 

As a whole, I would say that 'You Will Grow into Them' is a 4 star read. I did, however, rate each story individually as I read through the collection and you can find those ratings below:

 

1 - Passion Play - 3 stars.

 

2 - Two Brothers - 3 stars.

 

3 - Breadcrumbs - 4 stars.

 

4 - Her First Harvest - 4.5 stars.

 

5 - We All Need Somewhere to Hide - 5 stars.

 

6 - Dogsbody - 3.5 stars.

 

7 - Songs Like They Used to Play - 2 stars.

 

8 - The Last Meal He Ate Before She Killed Him - 2 stars.

 

9 - The Bridge - 3 stars.

 

10 The End of Hope Street - 4 stars.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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You can also follow me on Bloglovin

 

 

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text 2017-05-24 22:56
180/344 pages read of You Will Grow into Them Malcolm Devlin
You Will Grow into Them - Malcolm Devlin

 

The world is a far stranger place than we give it credit for. There, in the things we think familiar, safe, are certain aspects. Our fears and desires given form. Moments that defy explanation. Shadows in our home.

 

In Malcolm Devlin’s debut collection, change is the only constant. Across ten stories he tackles the unease of transformation, growth and change in a world where horror seeps from the everyday. Childhood anxieties manifest as debased and degraded doppelgängers, fungal blooms are harvested from the backs of dancers and London lycanthropes become the new social pariahs. The demons we carry inside us are very real indeed, but You Will Grow Into Them.

 

Taking weird fiction and horror and bending them into strange and wondrous new shapes, You Will Grow Into Them follows, in the grand tradition of Aickman, Ligotti and Vandermeer, reminding us that the ordinary world is a much stranger place than it seems.

 

 

As is usual with short story collections I will post an update periodically with my thoughts and ratings as I am reading and then review the book in its entirety when I am finished.

 

1 - Passion Play - 3 stars.

 

This was an Ok story. Not exactly sure what happened to Cathy, not sure if I'm supposed to. I loved the idea behind the story though. Creepy concept.

 

2 - Two Brothers - 3 stars.

 

Well written stories so far. They give just enough to unsettle you while allowing your imagination to fill in the gaps.

 

3 - Breadcrumbs - 4 stars.

 

Some weird mix between Rapunzel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Feels very fairytalesque and very imaginative. Has she grown up, shed her childhood and become a woman? or, is she just dreaming? Think I may read this one again.

 

4 - Her First Harvest - 4 stars.

 

Kinda gone off mushrooms now. Interesting but strange concept and visually enchanting.

 

5 - We All Need Somewhere to Hide - 5 stars.

 

Beauty is only skin deep, a person's character is where true beauty lies, but how deep does our love for someone truly go... This is my favourite so far.

 

6 - Dogsbody - 3 stars.

 

Not sure what to think about this one. I would have liked to know the why behind what had occurred. I enjoyed it though. You shouldn't always assume prejudice is at play, you're not always the victim you perceive yourself to be.

 

 7 - 10 Still to come

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
Facebook | Twitter | G+ | BookLikes | LibraryThing

You can also follow me on Bloglovin

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review 2017-04-22 08:15
10 Short Horror Stories Vol:1 - Steven Havelock

A collection of short stories always present the same problem, some stories are good, some are not so good.This collection does not really represent horror, as we normally understand it, but is more of a hybrid, horror, yes,but also a faint flavour of mystery and fantasy. Unfortunately the editing isn't quite finished and frankly,that's disappointing...

Still, it's an easy read as most of the stories are very short indeed and therefore never reach the stage were they become boring or long-winded .

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review 2017-03-09 15:00
Wrathbone and Other Stories Review
Wrathbone and Other Stories - Jason Parent

The titular story, Wrathbone, was a fantastically disturbing read. The unreliable narrator - was he crazy? wasn't he? - was used to the fullest advantage here. That narration combined with Parent's flair for describing mind-melting scenes of horror delivered pure awesomeness. Henry Rathbone was a figure I desperately wanted to save. I felt a surprising amount of pity for him rather quickly. I found myself actually hoping things would work out for the best for the family. (Which is unusual considering I'm normally happy to see lots of death.)

 

The Only Good Lawyer was one of those cases where you knew it was going to end with a serious comeuppance. And yet knowing that it was going to end a certain way did absolutely nothing to abolish my enjoyment of the read. In fact, Parent still managed to deliver a small surprise at the end of the story. I was so caught up in what I was reading that I'd forgotten a key point. I rather enjoyed it!

 

Dorian's Mirror was odd. I didn't like it as much as the previous two, but it had an appeal that I can't deny. Obviously a riff on The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian's Mirror is for the modern age. I think what draws me to it is the obsession with eyeballing the things we see wrong with us. It's hard to look away from a perceived fault. And although Parent carries it to extremes here, the root is the same.

 

For the Birds was my least favorite. There wasn't anything wrong with it, necessarily. But, given the quality the author delivered with the other three stories, it seemed a cheap shot. Possibly even filler. This was a story I'd expect from someone who relied far more on shock and gore tactics than true talent to get someone creeped out.

 

Revenge is a Dish finishes this collection of stories, and changes my opinion on the book overall. Reading Wrathbone I thought I was in for a pure horror treat. By the time I was done with Revenge is a Dish, I feel like I've just finished with a collection of Tales from the Crypt episodes. Pretty typical revenge story fare about a chef that got caught stuffing his sausage somewhere he shouldn't have and feels he's the wronged party.

 

Overall, the stories range between okay to awesome, with Wrathbone maybe setting the bar a bit too high. Jason Parent has the ability to do some truly wicked things with his mind. I hope he continues to cultivate his talent and doesn't take the easy roads for horror too much in the future.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author for review consideration.

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/wrathbone-and-other-stories-review
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review 2016-11-10 19:56
Review: Greetings from Moon Hill by Anthony J. Rapino
Greetings from Moon Hill - Amelia Bennett,Anthony J. Rapino,Todd Keisling,Todd Keisling

 

I was provided with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

Greetings from Moon Hill is a collection of short stories that are all set within the town of Moon Hill. I liked the idea behind the book, but I really struggled with it. I am now at the 50% mark and I've decided it's time to DNF it. I just can't face the thought of picking it up again.

 

The stories didn't tie into each other like was expecting them to. They felt random and unconnected and the vast majority of them felt incomplete. It feels to me like the author came across a folder full of ideas and random short stories that he had written previously and planned to return to at a later date, but instead decided to put them in a collection and use the gimmick of them all being set in Moon Hill to try and make something of them.

 

This is of course only my own opinion, many others seem to have loved the collection, but I am extremely fussy when it comes to short story collections and I'm just not feeling this one at all.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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