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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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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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text 2016-12-28 12:45
Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Short Story Collections/Anthologies Read in 2016!
Greener Pastures - Michael Bukowski,Michael Wehunt,John Boden,K. Allen Wood
The Wrath of Concrete and Steel - John Claude Smith
Wrathbone and Other Stories - Jason Parent
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Professor of Strategic Management Bernard Taylor,Michael P. Kube-McDowell,Christopher Priest
The Seeds of Nightmares - Tony Tremblay
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury

 

I've been lucky to have read a ton of great books this year here at my Horror Corner. I'll be doing a few different posts about my favorites and this one tackles short story collections and anthologies. If you're interested in learning more, please click the titles to see my original review. 

 

These are in no particular order but:  Every. Single. One. Of them. ROCKED!

 

Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt is the one selection in my top 5 that was written by an author previously unknown to me. It absolutely knocked my socks off and I cannot say enough good things about it. I still think about the title story and the "spaces between" any time I hear any stories about long distance truckers. 

You can get your copy here: Greener Pastures

 

The Wrath of Concrete and Steel by John Claude Smith contains a few stories that are unlike anything I've read before. I've read over 170 books this year alone, so for me to say that is really something. Unfortunately, I do not believe this book is currently available anywhere. 

 

Wrathbone by Jason Parent was great fun! The title story was a curious mix of historical fiction and dark fiction which I didn't think was possible to pull off properly, but Jason did it and he made it look easy. I still think about "The Only Good Lawyer"  and the witch doctor all the time. You can find your copy here: Wrathbone and Other Stories

 

 

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories is an absolutely terrific anthology put together by one of my favorite publishers. What sets this one apart and above the rest is the fact that it's not the same old horror stories that you read in every other anthology. The authors included within are often not known for their horror stories at all, which was a nice treat. Plus, there's a kick-ass story from Michael McDowell in there. The price of the collection is worth it, just for Miss Mack, in my opinion. 

You can get a copy here: The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories

 

 

The Seeds of Nightmares by Tony Tremblay was a breath of fresh air. Containing original and creative stories, often with a touch of poignancy, I found myself wishing I had read this collection sooner. I know that the story Stardust will stick with me forever. You can get your copy here: The Seeds of Nightmares

 

 

Bonus: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. What more can I say about this widely read classic? The stories were creative and imaginative even by today's standards. I think any fiction reader's library is incomplete without this volume. 

So fill that void here: The Martian Chronicles

 

 

Thanks for reading and I'll hope you stick with Char's Horror Corner in 2017, for your dark fiction and horror reading recommendations. 

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