Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror by Ellen Datlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!
Since this hasn't been released yet, I'm going to skip all the spoilerish stuff and the Story by Story gush or other reaction, and instead pick out some of my absolute favorites and otherwise tease some of the best ideas and themes for the rest, because I'm gonna be honest... the whole book of horror tales was rather fantastic.
I mean, it should be. This was a cherry-picking of the last ten year's best horror stories from some of the biggest non-stratospheric names in the business. Meaning it's mostly underrated authors or authors that are up-and coming or are well on their way to becoming household names.
That being said, I was thoroughly creeped out, disturbed, amused, and even awed. Most of these did a very good job at keeping me on the edge of my seat, and some even managed to make me really squirm and and want to say, "Enough, enough" and a few made me want to go out and pick up everything that author has ever written and be thankful that this book let me in on the big secret of their existence. :)
As for that last group, here they are:
Kaaron Warren's Dead Sea Fruit
Truly creeped me out and it had some of the best triggers in the business. Ash Mouth Man? Wow. Totally knocked me over. :)
Gemma Files's Spectral Evidence
This one was stylistically a fantastic treat with lots of easter eggs, written as notes in an investigation with pictures and tons of footnotes that tell an even more interesting tale than I might have guessed from the standard section. It isn't a traditional tale, but it's a freaking excellent one. :)
Ray Cluley's At Night, When the Demons Come By
A rather bright spotlight of a look at gender issues and an epic look at a world after demons infest the skies and shred humanity, zombie-style, but a bit more dire. The voice in this one is haunting and fantastic.
Livia Llewellyn's Omphalos
Totally haunting. I doubt I'll look at maps the same way again. And I'll also be totally creeped out about this one all night, now. Thanks a lot.
Now, just so you know, I loved almost all of these stories, and leaving some of these out actually kind of pains me. :) I'm still anxious after reading this entire book. And that's all because of the fantastic skills and the creepy dolls and the western zombies and the UF overdrive of hell infestations and good old fashioned roadtrip murder sprees. :)
Really, this one one hell of a fun ride. Anyone just looking for a good sampler or just a crazy good time could do FAR worse than this. :)
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