The Blurb on Other People’s Words–A Chilling Anthology

September 6, 2011 at 12:23 am (horror, Reviews, writing)

I thought it fitting, since next week I’ll be reviewing Eve Paludan’s western/romance novel, Taking Back Tara, that I review the anthology she edited for Notreebooks (which also contains her poignant ghost story, Pandora’s Boxes). I have a story in the anthology as well – my first ever sale, but as I customarily do, I’m excluding it from the review.

Many horror anthologies nowadays tend to follow a theme exclusive to one type of monster or plot element, which is what makes this anthology so special. In addition to a variety of authors, with differing styles, this offers a medley of creatures, traditional or otherwise, and storylines. Sort of a horror buffet, you could say.

The anthology opens with “All the Delicate Things” by Heidi Mannan, probably my second favourite story in the ebook. It gives you an interesting perspective of one woman’s odd obsession – her attempts at a cure for loneliness that involves going to some strange extremes.

I enjoyed all of the stories, although some of them did leave me scratching my head a little, because of a significant “weirdness” factor and others grabbed me more than other, a matter of personal preference. All were well written, and the editing was notably clean and concise. With a bold opening tale, the strongest story at the core of the anthology and a biting little short to finish, I’d have to say the editor here certainly grasps the technical elements of writing and the effective organization of an anthology.

The most notable story in the anthology, and by far my favourite, was “The Bone Flute Maker” by Carol J. La Valley. It had a background mostly hinted at, but expanding far beyond the limits of the tale, a very soulful protagonist that one could relate to despite its alien nature, and a storyline that plucked at the heartstrings. It was extremely moving, and I could understand why the editor had chosen to build an entire anthology around that one story.

Some of the stories were funny, some romantic, some shocking and others bizarre, but I felt they made an exciting combination and I think at such a low price, any horror fan would find this mixture of supernatural terror a real steal. Five stars from me.

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