Friday, October 3, 2008

Book Review: Read by Dawn Vol. 3

Horror anthologies have always been a treat for my horror-hungry heart, showcasing a wide range of different spook stories and introducing me to talented new authors. Most people don’t realize it, but it takes a lot of hard work to assemble a well-rounded horror anthology. The editor must be in tune with horror fans and be able to deliver a book that’s fresh and will stand out.

Luckily, the new horror anthology from UK’s Bloody Books, called Read By Dawn Vol. 3, definitely stands out with its startlingly scary stories. Read By Dawn Vol. 3 (I haven’t had the pleasure of reading the first two volumes) benefits from a knowledgeable editor, Adèle Hartley, who is also the festival director for Scotland’s annual International Horror Film Festival. Hartley definitely knows good horror when she sees it, because this anthology is packed with 25 frightening short stories from excellent authors!

These short but (bitter)sweet stories all have their own distinct styles, but I guarantee that all of them will send you diving under the covers with fright! I don’t think there is one bad story in this anthology, which is rare because there are usually a few clunkers in these kinds of collections. However, I do have some favorites, among them “Dead Frogs” by Josh Reynolds where a health inspector finds a shallow, watery grave in a diseased irrigation ditch. Reynolds will have you drowning in dread in the few short pages of the sinister story.

Another of my favorites is “Treats” (just in time for Halloween, no less!) by author Samuel Minier. In this surreal story Minier presents us with a macabre trick or treating ritual. Extremely disconcerting and nightmarish, you’ll definitely be asking for seconds when you’re finished with “Treats.”

In “What Will Happen When You’re Gone” by Jeffory Jacobson, a young couple chances upon one hell of a deal for a farmhouse, but when they visit the old lady who lives there, they realize that the house comes with some frightening and furry fiends. You know something is coming in this story, but when it finally springs you’ll be caught unawares!

Author Rebecca Lloyd gives us “Shuck,” painting us a picture of a decaying town with a dark presence that is plaguing a woman’s sister. The portrayal of the presence made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end! I also enjoyed the descriptions of the crumbling town.

There are many other stories (pretty much all 25) that will give you a fright, but instead of me describing them all for you do yourself a favor and go pick up Read By Dawn Vol. 3. And while you’re at it, pick up volumes 1 and 2 as well, like I’m planning on doing! If Vol. 3 is any indication, the other volumes will also contain enough stories to curl your toes and send you scurrying to the safety of your bed!!

Read By Dawn is also an excellent indicator that horror fiction is going strong and that there are many talented authors out there to keep an eye on. If you want a taste of the macabre future of horror, look no further than Read by Dawn Vol. 3, one of the best horror anthologies in recent years!

Visit Bloody Books Online!

Buy Read by Dawn Vol. 3!

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