Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book Review: Midnight Walk edited by Lisa Morton

What makes a good horror anthology? A variety of characters, locations, mythologies and differences in tonality make for a good start. A good horror anthology will also catch you off guard from one story to the next and take you to dark places you never even imagined. It will take you down little-traveled, black paths that few dare to tread. A good horror anthology is much like a midnight walk – darkness pressing in on all sides while you experience a mixture of fear, apprehension and excitement!

The new horror anthology is aptly named Midnight Walk and achieves all this and more! Edited by Lisa Morton, Midnight Walk is packed with 14 terrifying tales that explore the darker paths in life.
From the book’s description:

In the 19th century, Zulu tribesmen fight off undead invaders and a British noblewoman encounters an ancient Chinese evil…in modern America, a killer battles his inner demons and a desperate man faces a centuries-old curse to save his home…in the slums of India, a traveler seeks a magician who can make him forget…and in the far-flung future, a group of illicit gourmets uncovers the ultimate secret ingredient in synthetic food…these are just some of the original stories that will take you around the dark globe on a truly terrifying Midnight Walk.

This fantastic anthology features stories from Vince Churchill, Armand Constantine, Kelly Dunn, Richard Grove, Del Howison, Jodi Kaplan Lester, Jason M. Light, Lisa Majewski, Mike McCarty, Lisa Morton, Joey O’Bryan, John Palisano, R.B. Payne and George Willis. Each original story is like stepping into a completely new world, and no two stories are alike, except for the fact that they all will give you spine-tingling chills!

This anthology really is top-notch because of the variety of stories, writing styles, characters and evil you will find between its pages. Editor Lisa Morton has done an extremely commendable job assembling this amazing tome of fourteen original stories sure to terrorize its readers!

I enjoyed every single one of the stories, so it’s quite difficult to pick just a few favorites. I am a sucker for Halloween stories, though, so I would have to say that my favorite was Silver Needle by Richard Grove, about a young boy who goes trick or treating on Halloween only to be tempted by the Sidhe or Fairy Folk. Though set in modern times, I love how the story included a back story on Tam Lin, “the legendary Scotsman who had tricked the fairies when they’d tried to drag him to hell.” Author Grove perfectly captures the eerie essence of Halloween with creaking trees, one-eyed black cats, jack o’lanterns and a supposedly haunted house. He really brings back the original meaning of Halloween, when people believed that the veils between our world and the spirit world were lifted. This story is quite a treat, but it also has some tricks up its sleeve!

Another of my favorites from this anthology is The Measure of a Man by George Willis. This tale is set in South Africa and tells of Zulu warriors battling something they’d never encountered before – the undead! Besides the originality of the story, I really enjoyed how the lead character, a young Zulu in training, was developed. Another epic story was Lisa Morton’s Diana and the Goong-Si, about a British noblewoman in the 19th century that travels to China to find her missing husband but instead finds the region terrorized by a Goong-Si, or Chinese vampire. I loved the strong female character in this story, as well as the location and time in which the story was set. The Goong-Si is also a very different type of vampire than the creatures from our Western world, making it an even more exciting read! The Svancara Supper Society by Joey O’Bryan just left me in awe as it tells of a future where food is synthetic, but a scientist is searching for the sixth food quality that transforms the way people eat. There is so much more to the story, but I don’t want to give any of it away! It really must be read to be believed! I also enjoyed Late Check-in by Vince Churchill about a traveler who is tormented after checking in to a strange motel, Inside Out by Lisa Majewski about a narcissistic, asshole model and how a jilted lover gets even with him and of course all the rest of the stories. Honestly, there is not a bad one in the batch and if I could I would mention every single one as being a favorite!

Midnight Walk is a superior collection of horror stories that no horror fan should be without. The stories contained within its pages are all so diverse, interesting and original that every single one of them is a joy to read. In fact, this book had me so absorbed that I could barely put it down and just had to keep reading to see what enchantingly eerie story popped up next!

Midnight Walk comes highly recommended and was just recently released so make sure to get your copy today!

Available from Amazon!

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